Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was frustrated with himself after a loss to Jake Paul on Saturday night. He resolved to continue his evolution – not to hang up his gloves.
“I can’t stop,” Silva said emphatically after his unanimous decision loss to Paul in the main event of Saturday’s Showtime pay-per-view.
The sequence of events that led to Silva hitting the canvas in the eighth round – and unanimous 77-74, 78-73 and 78-73 scorecards against him – were tough for “The Spider” to swallow. He remembered its similarity his last UFC fight, a TKO loss to Uriah Hall, who won his boxing debut earlier on the card. Silva then hit the canvas twice, but he said he wasn’t knocked out.
“I failed in the strategy, and the last round, Jake [made] the good punch, and my base was not correct,” Silva told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “And that’s when I took the punch, but I didn’t feel knocked out. I don’t feel power, but I wasn’t in good balance, and that’s when I took the punch.
“I fell two times, and I just talked to my coach: ‘I don’t believe it. I trained hard to not do the same stupid position.’ But I’m human. I’m a superhero, but sometimes, my half-human fails.”
At 47, Silva at times looked supernatural against Paul, his junior by 22 years. According to CompuBox stats, he matched or outlanded Paul in power punches in four of eight rounds and total punches in five of eight rounds. The positive trends began to reverse, however, in the two final frames, and the knockdown created an indelible impression on the momentum of the fight.
“I don’t believe I take a knockout in the last round,” said Silva, again using the word instead of knockdown, a mistake that briefly got him in hot water with the overseeing athletic commission. “That’s stupid. I failed my mission, and I’m back to home, training better, and trying to make the strategy correct in the next time.”
Silva said his next mission is a jiu-jitsu tournament in Abu Dhabi and a helping hand in getting Paul’s MMA fighter association started. The latter was Silva’s payout in the event of a Paul win, though the ex-UFC champ hardly needed convincing to make working conditions better for his colleagues.
Absent from Silva’s reflection was a vow of revenge, as it was for Paul’s most recent opponent, ex-UFC champ Tyron Woodley. The former middleweight kingpin didn’t need convincing that he could best a former YouTube star with another crack at him.
“I think it’s very important that people respect the moment, Jake’s moment now,” Silva said. “I’m [a] black samurai – I know I lost, I know I failed my whole strategy, and my opponent won, and I need to respect that. I’m not the same, like other guys who fought Jake – ‘Oh, I need revenge, I need a rematch.’ I don’t know. Let’s go see what happens. Maybe, I don’t know.”
What he does know, he said, is that Paul is the better man today. He will return at some point to test himself against his next challenger, whoever that might be.