UFC legend Anderson Silva sparkles again inside a boxing ring with heavy knockdown and is now a front-runner to face Jake Paul

Anderson Silva is a UFC GOAT, but another impressive performance in the boxing ring does beg the question how good he could have been had he boxed all along.

The Brazilian dominated fellow MMA fighter and compatriot Bruno Machado in Dubai on Saturday night, but he couldn’t grab the victory due to the fact it was an exhibition fight.

Silva proved once again he’s a problem in the ring

Silva proved once again he’s a problem in the ring

The former UFC middleweight champion arguably won every single round against Machado and he desperately wanted the finish late on, but he could not find it.

Silva had superior movement and picked his shots in the early stages. It was quality over quantity of shots for ‘Spider’ and he looked confident and relaxed in the ring.

The two minute rounds didn’t help the flow of this fight. Silva had his own rhythm and that was largely behind a fairly soft jab, but it kept Machado busy.

Silva’s variety of shots was too much

Silva’s variety of shots was too much

From round four onwards, Silva upped the output and mixed his work from head to body beautifully. His work became far more aggressive in the middle to later rounds and Machado, while game, had no real answers.

Silva was switching stances frequently and was clearly operating at a level far beyond Machado. The legendary UFC star was pressing forward with some searing straights and Machado was simply playing defence as the fight wore on.

At the end of the fifth round, Silva dropped Machado after a flurry to the body and an overhand right.

Machado did enough to avoid the finish, but Silva was clearly disappointed that he didn’t get it. Either way, it’s another impressive outing for Silva from a skill perspective and after a relatively sad ending to his glorious MMA career, boxing continues to revitalise his name.

Jake Paul told talkSPORT last month that he would be paying attention to Anderson Silva’s fight and the 47 year old is in contention to be his next opponent.

Silva, 34-11 in MMA, reigned as a UFC middleweight champion for 2,457 days and successfully defended the belt a record 10 times.

Jake Paul has named Silva as a potential opponent


Jake Paul has named Silva as a potential opponent

He has now competed three times in boxing since stepping away from MMA. He defeated former WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez by split decision in June of last year and then needed less than 90 seconds to knock out former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz three months later.

His previous flirts with boxing before that saw a loss in 1998 and then a knockout in in 2005, both in his homeland of Brazil.

Machado is also an MMA fighter and has a 15-9 pro record. He has won six straight fights, including four for the UAE warriors promotion. Even he will know he was not the better man against Silva, though.