Jake Paul may not be the most popular figure to some in MMA circles, but in the eyes of one notable UFC star, he’s a breath of fresh air.
UFC heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall counts himself among those who enjoy what Paul is doing, and said he fancies the YouTuber-turned-boxer’s chances when he steps through the ropes to face UFC legend Anderson Silva on October 29.
“I will say something that not a lot of fighters will say, I actually really like Jake Paul,” Aspinall told Midnite.com.
“I like what he’s doing. He’s got a lot of eyes on the sport that would not be watching the sport before. I’m talking all the way across combat sports.
“I think he brings a lot of eyes to combat sports and he’s looked great boxing so far.
“He’s obviously a very athletic guy and picked it up really quick and he’d look great doing MMA as well, I think.
“In my opinion, if he was given the right fights and brought on properly, had the right training – his mentality is great – so he could far with it, definitely.”
Paul takes on former UFC middleweight champion Silva in a boxing match on October 29 in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s a bout that pits Paul, an undefeated fighter who has so far filled his boxing resume with stars from sports other than boxing, with Silva, a former undisputed UFC middleweight champion who, at his peak, was the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
But Silva is now 47 years of age and far from the fighter that dominated the sport in the early 2010s. But he still carries the name value and respect from his UFC days.
However, Aspinall said that Paul’s youth and drive could be enough to defeat the waning UFC legend under boxing rules.
“I think he’s got Anderson Silva at a good time,” he suggested.
“Silva has obviously got a lot of miles on the clock. But he also has a lot of skills so it’s an interesting fight. Silva has got to be pushing 50 now, but the skills are still there, the body is still there.
“I think Jake Paul takes it, I think Paul should be able to outwork him being the younger and fresher man but you never know.
“Silva getting a bit older and Paul’s young and hungry – and Jake Paul’s looked good. I don’t care what anybody says, it looks like he has got skills. So I think he wins that one.”