Comments from MMA legend Anderson Silva to a journalist in the run-up to his mega-money bout with Jake Paul, scheduled for Saturday in Phoenix, now have the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission investigating whether the fight should take place at all.
Marc Raimondi of ESPN had the news first.
The commission meeting was first reported last night by @MMAFightingSM. An Arizona public information officer told ESPN this morning that the athletic commission will "review additional documentation submitted" by Silva this week.— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) October 27, 2022
Silva has said this week that he misspoke in the interview because English is not his native language and he was only joking about it anyway. The interview was also from last month and only released earlier this week.— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) October 27, 2022
Silva (3-1, 2 KO’s) is scheduled to face Paul (5-0, 4 KO’s) in the main event of a card that is heavy on spectacle if not skill. Another former UFC fighter in Uriah Hall will take on former NFL running back Le’Veon Bell on the undercard as well.
If the commission determines Silva was being truthful about any incidents that happened in training, they do have the right to shut down the contest to prevent a fighter from injuring himself permanently. But the downstream effects of ruling out the longtime UFC middleweight champion would probably mean the cancelation of the card in full, and for a city like Phoenix that has looked to break into the events game by stealing some events from Las Vegas, it would certainly have deleterious effects.
We’ll see what the ruling is here. The card as of now is scheduled to begin October 29 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, the former home of the Arizona Coyotes.