Anderson Silva was committed to stick with boxing for the long haul from the moment he began preparation for his ring return earlier this summer.
Following a split decision win over faded former middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., all eyes were on the next move for the UFC legend. A second straight boxing match is in store for Silva, who will next face Hall of Fame former UFC light heavyweight champion and boxing newcomer Tito Ortiz (21-12-1, 15 knockouts/submissions in MMA). The bout—which will be fought at a catchweight of 195 pounds—will take place September 11, live on Triller Fight Club Pay-Per-View from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
News of the fight emerged earlier this month, ultimately putting on hold rumored talks of a fourth-quarter showdown versus social media influencer and boxing novice Logan Paul (0-1, 0KOs). Such a fight could still take place later this year, although there is little beyond the showdown with Ortiz that is on Silva’s mind at the moment.
“Let’s go see. Anything is possible,” Silva said of a potential fight with Paul, while taking part in a virtual press conference to otherwise discuss his bout with Ortiz. “We can’t control that situation. I can control one thing—training hard, listening to my coach.
“The other side, I can’t control that. If that happens, I’m prepared for that. If not, I will continue training.”
Talks were reportedly underway this past July, one month after the 46-year-old Silva conquered Chavez in his first boxing match since 2005. Paul was nearly two months removed from his high-profile June 5 exhibition with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the Hall of Fame former five-division champion and boxing’s all-time box-office king.
The fight isn’t yet ruled out, though remains on the backburner for now as Silva first takes on a fellow octagon legend. The bout is part of a PPV card headlined by Hall of Fame former six-division titlist Oscar De La Hoya in a scheduled and sanctioned eight-round bout versus former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort.
Depending on the outcome and his physical well-being, Silva has not ruled out a future fight with Paul or any other influencer.
“Everything’s possible. I love fighting. Fighting is a big part of my life,” notes Silva, whose middleweight title reign of six year, eight months and 25 days is the longest in UFC history. “I challenge myself every single moment. I never stop training. Triller came to me and asked about this opportunity to fight Tito. It’s a great honor, he’s a legend. I saw Tito and said, “He’s a monster, this is amazing.” I’m a big fan of Tito. This is a big show for the fans.
“The shows for the fans are completely different. I think me, Vitor, Tito and other MMA fighters are ready to show what we can do. I am waiting for the next challenge, maybe it comes from Logan Paul. We shall see.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox