Anderson Silva is done playing around.
“The Spider” spoke to the media following Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins for his boxing match with Jake Paul, which headlines Saturday’s Showtime event at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz., and he had strong words for the YouTuber-turned-boxer after Paul cut a fiery on-stage promo.
“Now, the war starts,” Silva said. “That’s it. No more jokes, no more hugs.”
“I don’t think he understands what happened.”
Silva, 47, competes in boxing for the third time since returning to the ring in 2021, following wins over former WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz. During his time in the octagon, Silva put together a legendary middleweight title run from 2006-2013 and won a UFC record 16 straight fights, defeating the likes of Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, and Forrest Griffin.
Suffice to say, he wasn’t intimidated by Paul’s antics.
“He tried, but I don’t think he’s good,” Silva said with a smirk. “He’s not a good actor. Definitely, he’s not a good actor.”
Despite the intensity ramping up between Saturday’s headliners, Silva acknowledged that the two could still do business after. Paul and Silva made a wager this week in which Paul suggested Silva team up with him to form a fighters’ union if Paul is victorious or that Paul rematch Silva in kickboxing of “The Spider” is the winner.
Silva welcomes a kickboxing match with Paul, but is also interested in helping Paul advocate for fighter rights.
“I have a lot of experience in combat sports,” Silva said. “I already won a lot of things, I lost a lot of things, but this is not about who is going to lose legacy or not. It’s about you do your job. I’m here because I love it. I don’t come here because I need money. I don’t come here because I need to prove something to nobody. I just come because I love it.
“This is my air. And God gave me the best present in my life. He gave me everything I need. My family, I’m so healthy, and tomorrow I’m going to do my job. That’s it.”
And though Silva is keeping a level head, he still sounds determined to teach “The Problem Child” a valuable lesson.
“The problem is when you fight, you need to understand the word,” Silva said. “You need to understand this word. And I don’t think Jake understands.”