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Anderson Silva may have left mixed martial arts behind, but he’s far from finished with combat sports. The future Hall of Famer has turned his attention to boxing following his retirement from UFC, and is gearing up for his second match in three months as he looks to take on another MMA legend in Tito Ortiz.
The bout is the co-feature of a Triller Fight Club card that also boasts a matchup between former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and former UFC superstar Vitor Belfort. The lineup of aging stars has the look of an exhibition-heavy card, but make no mistake, these are sanctioned, professional bouts.
Among the headliners, Silva seems to be the most committed to taking advantage of this celebrity-boxing wave, which is perhaps why he’s such a heavy favorite over Ortiz.
Silva vs. Ortiz Fight Info
When: Saturday, Sep. 11 at 7 p.m. ET (main card)
Where: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida
Live stream: FITE.TV (pay-per-view, $49.99)
Odds (via OddsChecker): Silva -1000, Ortiz +550
Silva, 46, is coming off a decision win over the often underwhelming and underprepared Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June. Yes, that’s right, “Spider” beat a boxer at his own game, showing off solid technique, confidence and a willingness to initiate offense.
It’s clear Silva’s passion for combat sports hasn’t diminished after a disappointing 1-7 finish to his UFC career. He told TMZ Sports he would be willing to fight YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul, the reigning king of celebrity boxing. He also says he wants his foray into the sweet science to last a couple more years.
“My goal is my last fight is 49 [years old]. 49, I’m done. Probably, I’m done. That is my goal. Fight three more years and done. 49. That’s the number. Maybe I can fight more, but right now my goal is when I turn 49, I stop fighting,” Silva said.
If Silva wants to get in the ring with Jake Paul (or perhaps his brother, Logan), he’ll have to make sure he doesn’t squander any of the goodwill he cultivated during a legendary UFC career that saw him hold the world middleweight title for more than six years. That means avoiding a letdown against Ortiz, who is making his professional boxing debut Saturday night.
While Silva went straight from UFC to boxing, Ortiz has taken a decidedly different route. He went into politics after retiring from MMA in 2019 and was elected mayor pro tempore of Huntington Beach, California in December 2020. His term was marred by controversies, though, and he resigned from the city council in June.
With his political career on hold for now, Ortiz has turned his attention to boxing. He has his work cut out for him going against the polished Silva, who excelled as a standup fighter in MMA and even dabbled in pro boxing in the early 2000s. He also has his work cut out for him on the scales. According to BJPenn.com’s Adam D. Martin, the 46-year-old revealed on Tuesday that he was 212 pounds, 17 pounds above the 195-pound catchweight established for the fight.
Assuming Ortiz is ready to go Saturday, there’s little reason to believe he can get a win on the cards. Silva is going to be in fine shape and should have sharper skills and tactics. Ortiz’s advantage will be his size, and he may have to go for a knockout to get the win. It probably won’t be pretty getting there.
Silva has already shown he can beat a longtime professional boxer, albeit a disappointing one in Chavez Jr. He should be able to handle whatever Ortiz throws at him.
Prediction: Silva wins by unanimous decision