UFC legend Anderson Silva looks unrecognisable a year after Jake Paul defeat

UFC legend Anderson Silva looks unrecognisable a year on from his loss to YouTube star-turned-boxer, Jake Paul. The 48-year-old, a former middleweight UFC champion, lost to Paul by unanimous decision but he has refused to rule out one last match.

Silva, who has decided to grow out his facial hair, moving away from his usual clean-shaven look, and rocking an extended goatee, said Via MMA Fighting: “I’m now focused on these two projects and pretty soon we’ll have something nice regarding fighting. We’re in talks with Japan for a possible last MMA fight in Japan.

“It makes all the sense. I started my career internationally there, so we probably want to it end there, too. Let’s see if that happens. We’re waiting for these movie works to end, the projects I’m doing. So we go to Japan and sit down to talk with the people interested in taking this fight to Japan and end my MMA career there.”

Silva’s new look even caught the attention of another fellow UFC legend, Conor McGregor. The Notorious is expected to return to the octagon next year. “Living legend,” the Irishman wrote. The Brazilian departed the UFC following just one win in his final nine bouts. He also bowed out with three consecutive defeats. But a switch to boxing proved more fruitful, beating ex-world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, as well as MMA star Tito Ortiz before the points loss to ex-Disney actor, Paul.

Silva has also had a biopic series made about his life, which is set to be released on Paramount+ on November 16, and his character in the five-part series will be played by William Nascimento. The Silva name won’t be forgotten in combat sports, with the MMA icon’s son, Gabriel Silva, also into boxing.

Gabriel is set to fight YouTuber OJ Rose in a boxing match at the promotion’s upcoming event on November 17 at York Hall in London. It will be the 26-year-old’s second fight in a matter of months, having scored a knockout win over MMA media member Ben Davis in September. Gabriel has experience in both boxing and kickboxing.

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The possibility of three Silvas fighting on the same card hasn’t been ruled out, with brother Kalyl Silva a 2-0 professional boxer. Gabriel claims that his dad is always training and is in shape to step inside an octagon, or squared circle, on short notice. “My father is very impulsive,” Silva said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “If the idea of fighting this year makes sense in his head, he’ll make it happen. He’s always training and always in shape, always ready, so I think he’ll fight when the opportunity comes.”

Gabriel added: “It could happen, the three of us on the card. That would be cool, that would be cool. I’ve always had this idea of one day sharing a card with my father. I’d put my plans aside a little bit because this is history, it’s something we would never see again, so we have to be part of it.”

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