Jake Paul intrigued by Silva, prefers Masvidal next
Jake Paul can't help but get excited about the thought of fighting MMA legend Anderson Silva.
After Silva knocked out Tito Ortiz in a boxing match Saturday, there was talk of a potential meeting between Silva and Paul, who's 4-0 as a professional boxer. Paul said Monday he's interested - to a degree.
"I think it'd be a huge fight, for sure," Paul told Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour."
"He's a legend of the sport. Great head movement, great striking. For me, I would love it. I have nothing but respect for Anderson. I watched him growing up and was a fan of his growing up, so it'd be cool to sort of get in there and see what would happen."
However, Paul, 24, is a little concerned about Silva's age. He said he'd want the 46-year-old to undergo "lots of testing" to ensure he's fit to compete and to avoid a repeat of Vitor Belfort's controversial fight against 58-year-old heavyweight great Evander Holyfield.
"It's kind of like a lose-lose situation," Paul said. "If you win, you're like, 'Oh, he's just an old guy, he's retired, he's washed-up.'"
Speaking of Belfort, the former UFC light heavyweight champion called out Paul for a winner-take-all fight after disposing of Holyfield by first-round TKO last weekend. Triller, Belfort's promoter, said it'd offer $30 million to the winner.
But Paul said there's a "very low possibility" of that contest happening unless Triller proves it has that kind of money and Paul's promoter, Showtime, allowed him to take the fight.
"Vitor's not that big of a name," Paul said. "He just isn't. He's not even as big of a name as Tyron (Woodley). I'm trying to get bigger with each one of these fights. I'm trying to have more of a challenge. I think Vitor is a lot easier of a fight than Tyron. He's older. He's on steroids and such, but that doesn't really excite me that much."
The ideal next opponent, Paul said, is a man he called out before beating former UFC welterweight champion Woodley in his last fight in August: Jorge Masvidal.
Paul and Masvidal, one of the UFC's most popular fighters, were friendly - and even trained together briefly - ahead of Paul's April match against Ben Askren, whom Masvidal beat in MMA. But their relationship took a turn for the worse in August when Masvidal picked Woodley to win by knockout. Since then, both Paul and Masvidal have said they want to fight each other.
"Honestly, from a personal standpoint, I would love for it to be Masvidal," Paul said of his next opponent. "Just because of the shit talk, just because of his name, just because he's still in his prime era. And there's a lot of personal beef there. I just took out his boy Tyron.
"Hopefully (UFC president) Dana (White) would let him out of his contract, but we're not sure if that can happen. But for me, personally, I think that would be the toughest challenge, the toughest guy, and the biggest name - the most relevant, currently. I think that's the one to make. I think it'll happen at some point, regardless, but that's the top of my list, for sure."
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