Anderson Silva jokes about sparring knockouts in advance of Jake Paul fight. Commission schedules special meeting


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Anderson Silva walked back comments he made in September about getting knocked out twice in sparring ahead of his boxing match with Jake Paul.

The UFC legend addressed the controversy in a live setting for the first time on Wednesday at the Paul vs. Silva open workouts. Silva said that he was “joking” when he told MMA Weekly in a Sept. 13 interview that his sparring partner had “knocked me out two times.” The 47-year-old former middleweight champion explained that he was simply trying to sing the praises of his teammates and ultimately did so in an improper way.

“Listen guys, let me tell you something very important. Silva stated that Silva joked about the men doing hard sparring [them getting] and knockout. The guys ask me why I didn’t think so. I just like to help and put my partners up, that’s the question.”

Silva’s words echoed the explanation he released Wednesday morning in a statement issued through Showtime, the pay-per-view broadcaster of the Paul vs. Silva match.

“After reading the reports and being concerned for myself, I would like to clarify two things,” Silva said in his statement. “One, I was NEVER knocked out in sparring. I misspoke in that interview as I sometimes do when interviewing in English and exaggerated the normal back-and-forth action that occurs in sparring.

” Second, the sparring session that I referred to was in September. The interview with MMA Weekly was done on Sept. 13 and, for some reason, just released this week. So, it wasn’t recent.”

Silva’s first comments, which were based on an interview that was released Tuesday, raised plenty of concern about Silva’s safety as he enters the Paul bout at his advanced years.

“I’m training hard for win — I’m training with the good boxers, high-level, and five guys come to help me,” Silva told MMA Weekly. Silva said that [my sparring partner], knocked him out twice in the last sparring session. “Coach, tell me something. Why did they knock me out so many times?” MMA Weekly.

Speaking to MMA Fighting on Tuesday, Silva’s longtime coach Luiz Carlos Dorea emphatically denied any instances of Silva getting knocked out in sparring.

Silva is set to meet the 25-year-old Paul in an eight-round professional boxing match on Saturday at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz. It is set for a catchweight 187 and will air live on pay-per view.

After initially stating that it was “looking into the matter,” the Arizona Department of Gaming announced late Wednesday that it has scheduled a special meeting to review “additional documentation submitted by Mr. Anderson Silva to determine his eligibility to compete in an upcoming bout on October 29, 2022.” That meeting takes place Thursday night.