GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jake Paul's inexplicable boxing résumé now includes a win over one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
The YouTube-star-turned-prizefighter beat former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva by unanimous decision (77-74, 78-73, 78-73) Saturday night here at Desert Diamond Arena. The bout was very competitive, but Paul pulled away late and sealed the victory by dropping Silva in the eighth round with a right hand.
Paul described beating Silva, someone whom he was a big fan of as a kid, as "surreal."
"He was my idol growing up," Paul said. "He inspired me to be great."
This was the toughest matchup so far for the 25-year-old Paul. Silva is 47 years old, but had solid boxing performances, including a win over former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., after leaving the UFC in 2020.
Paul (6-0) now owns victories over three UFC fighters: Silva, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (two wins, including a knockout) and Ben Askren.
Afterward, Paul called out another UFC luminary: Nate Diaz, who was in attendance supporting his teammate Chris Avila, who competed on the undercard. Diaz and his team and members of Paul's team had an altercation backstage with drinks flying in both directions earlier in the night. Diaz became a free agent after his fight last month at UFC 279.
Vasiliy Lomachenko defeats Jamaine Ortiz in hard-fought bout
Vasiliy Lomachenko scored a unanimous-decision victory over Jamaine Ortiz in a fight that was far tougher than expected for him Saturday night at New York's Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The win sets Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KO) up for a potential meeting next year with undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney, who was in attendance Saturday.
Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KO), a major underdog, was in control over the first half of the 135-pound bout on the strength of his athleticism, superior size and jab, but Lomachenko rallied down the stretch to win a tightly contested bout.
The judges scored it 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.
Jake Paul - Anderson Silva round-by-round analysis by Marc Raimondi
Round 8: Paul drops Silva with a right hand to all but seal the deal on a decision. Paul had a strong finish to the bout. Silva tapered off a bit after a hot start. Paul 10-8. Paul 77-74.
Round 7: Clear Paul round. He landed a good combination early. Both men seem to be slowing down. Let's see if Silva has anything left in the tank. Paul seems to be on his way to edging this one out late. Paul 10-9. 67-66.
Round 6: This is a very close fight. Paul was winning the round the whole way until a big Silva flurry at the end, which included a nice uppercut that snapped Paul's head back. Unclear if that was enough to give Silva the edge, though. Paul 10-9. 57-57.
Round 5: Pretty clear Silva round. He showed he still has gas in the tank at this stage. Paul looks a bit tired or maybe he took the round off. Silva pressured a lot and had Paul against the ropes often, throwing combinations. Again, a lot were blocked. But some landed, too, and Paul didn't land much. Silva 10-9. Silva 48-47.
Round 4: Another close round, but the momentum seems to be shifting. Paul is getting more confident throwing combinations, and he landed some solid right hands and left hooks in the fourth. Silva had some moments, too, but Paul is blocking a lot of his shots. Paul 10-9. 38-38.
Round 3: Similar round for Silva, but Paul landed harder and mixed in more combinations. Paul had a couple of hard right hands. Silva is bleeding from his nose. Most of Silva's combinations were blocked by Paul. Really close round. Paul 10-9. Silva 29-28.
Round 2: Silva came forward and pressured hard to start, landing some decent shots. Some were blocked. Paul had a good right hand later in the round. Silva also played some typical mind games with Paul, dropping his hands and shuffling around. Silva 10-9. Silva 20-18.
Round 1: Not a ton going on. Silva landed a nice left late in the round. Paul had a couple of decent right hands to the body and whiffed on some others. Silva made him miss. Silva's left was the best of the round. Silva 10-9.
Vasiliy Lomachenko - Jamaine Ortiz round-by-round analysis by Mike Coppinger
Lomachenko wins a unanimous-decision victory over Ortiz via scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. Ortiz, who was a major underdog, impressed, particularly over the first half, but Lomachenko closed strong to move onto a potential fight with undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney.
Round 12: An exhausted Ortiz stumbles to the finish line in his first 12-round fight. Lomachenko closes strong in a close fight that featured a few tough-to-score rounds. 10-9, Lomachenko. 115-113, Lomachenko.
Round 11: Lomachenko showing the requisite urgency in a tightly contested fight. He poured on the punishment in the round, and Ortiz's face is swelling up all over. 10-9, Lomachenko. 105-104, Lomachenko.
Round 10: Lomachenko beat Ortiz to the punch early in the round, but Ortiz began to time Lomachenko with sharp right hands to the body to end the sequence. Another close round. 10-9, Lomachenko, 95-95.
Round 9: Lomachenko not throwing nearly enough, instead sitting back like he did in the loss to Teofimo Lopez Jr.. He landed some big shots in the first half of the round before Ortiz came on strong in the second half of a close round. 10-9, Lomachenko. 86-85, Ortiz.
Round 8: Ortiz's jab is giving Lomachenko fits, and Ortiz is back to his torrid pace. Lomachenko is just not able to close the distance consistently so far. 10-9, Ortiz. 77-75, Ortiz.
Round 7: Ortiz still pumping the jab but not at the same pace he set earlier in the fight. Lomachenko finding more and more openings and making Ortiz pay. 10-9, Lomachenko. 67-66, Ortiz.
Round 6: Lomachenko's best round of the fight by far. He's closing Ortiz's left eye quickly with that sharp southpaw jab, and now he's hammering him with power shots at will. Can Ortiz find a second wind? 10-9, Lomachenko. 58-56, Ortiz.
Round 5: Ortiz is the aggressor and continues to dictate the pace of this fight in a major surprise. Lomachenko is busting up Ortiz with quick combos, but he's not winning rounds yet. 10-9, Ortiz. 49-46, Ortiz.
Round 4: Ortiz really bringing the fight to Lomachenko, doubling and tripling up on the jab, and now throwing some powerful right hands behind it. Lomachenko did good work, too, with a bundle of power shots. 10-9, Ortiz. 39-37, Ortiz.
Round 3: Ortiz continues to find success with his jab, but there isn't much coming behind it. Lomachenko broke through with a left-right combo that caught Ortiz's attention to win the round. 10-9, Lomachenko. 29-28, Ortiz.
Round 2: Lomachenko is known as a slow starter, and tonight is no different. Ortiz continues to work the jab to keep Lomachenko on the outside. 10-9, Ortiz. 20-18, Ortiz.
Round 1: Ortiz established his educated jab right from the opening bell, using it to keep the smaller Lomachanko at bay. He punctuated the round with a sharp right hand to the body, and already, Lomachenko has a huge welt under his right eye. 10-9, Ortiz.
In New York: Robeisy Ramirez takes his time, stops Jose Romero in Round 9
Ramirez delivered another impressive performance with a ninth-round TKO of Romero as he inches closer to a featherweight title shot.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba dropped Romero with a left hand in the opening round and finished the Argentine with a pair of left hands that prompted the referee to stop the bout with 40 seconds remaining in Round 9.
Ramirez (11-1, 7 KOs) was set for a step-up bout against Jessie Magdaleno, but the former champion withdrew with a hand injury. Instead, Ramirez made a statement with the finish of Romero (26-3, 9 KOs), who went the distance with both Isaac Cruz and Michel Rivera last year.
Ramirez was coming off a highlight-reel KO of Abraham Nova in June. -- Coppinger
In Arizona: Ashton Sylve stops Braulio Rodriguez in just over a minute
Jake Paul's future as a promoter seems bright.
Sylve, the teen prospect whom Paul promotes under the Most Valuable Promotions banner, stopped veteran Rodriguez via knockout at just 1:01 of the very first round. Rodriguez came in wildly. Sylve evaded, and then Sylve landed an absolutely gorgeous left hook counter that put Rodriguez down for good.
"I can do another round -- I can go another few rounds," Sylve said.
Sylve (8-0) is just 18 years old and is one of the top up-and-coming fighters in boxing. The Long Beach, California native has finished all of his fights via knockout. Rodriguez (20-5), a 34-year-old from the Dominican Republic, fought Ryan Garcia just two fights ago.
Earlier this year, Sylve became the third fighter signed to Most Valuable Promotions after Paul and top female boxer Amanda Serrano. --Raimondi
In Arizona: Uriah Hall dominates Le'Veon Bell in boxing match
Consider it a moral victory for Le'Veon Bell, the former NFL star running back.
Uriah Hall, a UFC veteran, clearly won every round against Bell for a unanimous decision victory in a four-round bout (40-36, 40-36, 40-36), but Bell didn't get stopped and was never really badly hurt against someone with vastly more combat sports experience than him. Bell even dished out a very hard right hand in the third that backed Hall up.
"This is the toughest sport in the world and I give you so much props," Hall said in his post-fight interview. "I'm proud of you, man. ... He definitely surprised me. He's pretty good."
Hall also called out Jake Paul immediately after beating Bell.
"I'm the dude that's gonna come out here and expose him," Hall said. "If Anderson [Silva] doesn't do it, I'm gonna be the one to f--- you up."
Hall was in pursuit for most of the fight with Bell trying to evade and look for jabs to the face or body. Bell was making awkward movements and Hall had a hard time cutting off the ring, though he did pop up with some hard right hands, left hooks and combinations. Hall landed three straight right hands in the third round and finished strong with a big exchange with Bell.
Bell and Hall were both making their pro boxing debuts, but Hall has 17 years of experience in MMA and a karate background. Bell, a 30-year-old Ohio native, is a former All-Pro and Pro Bowler in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams.
Hall, a 38-year-old Jamaica-born fighter who grew up in New York and lives in Dallas, is tied for the most KO/TKOs in UFC middleweight history (8). He announced his retirement from the UFC back in August. --Raimondi
In New York: Richard Torrez Jr. stops Ahmed Hefny in the third-round
Torrez, an Olympic silver medalist, scored three knockdowns of Hefny en route to a third-round stoppage victory.
Torrez, a 23-year-old from Tulare, California, connected on a pair of left hands that sent Hefny tumbling to the canvas in the opening round.
A series of shots from Torrez (4-0, 4 KOs) produced another knockdown in the closing seconds of Round 2. In Round 3, Hefny was deducted one point for holding before he was dropped a third and final time, prompting the referee to stop the fight without a count.
This was the first time Torrez reached Round 3. Hefny, a 38-year-old from Egypt, has now lost two in a row. -- Coppinger
In Arizona: Bantamweight contender Alexandro Santiago defeated Antonio Nieves by seventh-round TKO.
In New York: Duke Ragan defeats Luis Lebron in hard-fought bout
Ragan met the toughest test of his pro career in a unanimous-decision victory over Lebron.
Ragan -- who won by scores of 77-75, 78-74 and 79-73 -- was forced to hold on in Round 7 after he was rocked by a Lebron right hand. Later in the round, he was deducted one point for repeatedly spitting out his mouthpiece, ostensibly to buy more recovery time.
Despite the rough moments, Ragan (8-0, 1 KO) landed the cleaner shots and busted up Lebron's face.
A 25-year-old Olympian from Cincinnati, Ragan fought past six rounds for the first time. Lebron (18-5-1, 11 KOs), a 30-year-old from Puerto Rico, has now lost five of his last seven bouts. -- Coppinger
In Arizona: Avila defeats 'Dr. Mike' by unanimous decision
After Mikhail Varshavski, the famous YouTuber nicknamed "Dr. Mike," had some early success, it was basically one-way traffic. Avila, a longtime member of Nate Diaz's team, used big overhands and left hook counters to handily defeat Varshavski via unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) in a four-round bout to open the pay-per-view portion of the card. Diaz was watching from a ringside seat.
Varshavski, who has tens of millions of subscribers across social media channels, was making his pro boxing debut and has been touted as the only influencer other than Jake Paul to take the plunge in boxing against an opponent who was already a pro boxer. Avila, who has fought MMA in both the UFC and Bellator, moved to 2-1 as a pro boxer.
In the closing seconds, Avila rocked Varshavski with combinations and was close to finishing the fight, but Varshavski was saved by the bell.
Varshavski, 32, will donate his fight purse to the Harlem Boys & Girls Club. Avila, 29, was wearing "Real Fight Inc." on his shorts, signifying that he is the first fighter signed to Diaz's new promotional company which is on its way to being officially licensed.
"Any UFC fighters out there, get out of your contract and come get yourself some real s---," Avila said in his postfight interview. --Raimondi
In New York: Nico Ali Walsh wins again
Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, continued his development with a unanimous-decision victory over Billy Wagner in a six-round middleweight bout.
Ali Walsh went the distance for the second time in his career with the victory via scores of 58-56, 58-56 and 59-55.
Ali Walsh (7-0, 5 KOs) landed a number of hard shots -- particularly the right hand -- that bloodied Wagner throughout. However, Ali Walsh also absorbed a bundle of power punches in return during the fight.
The 22-year-old Ali Walsh, who fights out of Las Vegas, ends his 2022 campaign with four victories. Wagner (5-3, 1 KO), a 29-year-old from Montana, lost for the second time in four fights. -- Coppinger
In New York: Tiger Johnson shines in win over Esteban Garcia
Johnson, an Olympian from Cleveland, impressed once again with smooth boxing and precise counterpunching in a shutout decision victory over Garcia.
All three judges scored the junior welterweight bout identically: 60-54.
Johnson (6-0, 4 KOs) used his educated jab to set up his power shots and controlled the action from start to finish. The 24-year-old prospect was rated No. 25 on ESPN's list of the top boxers under 25.
Garcia (15-2, 7 KOs) has now lost two of his last three bouts. -- Coppinger
In New York: Troy Isley outpoints Quincy LaVallais to stay unbeaten
Isley, an Olympian from Washington D.C., remained undefeated with a unanimous-decision victory over LaVallais in an eight-round middleweight bout.
One judge scored the bout 79-73 to go along with shutout scores of 80-72 and 80-72.
The fight proved to be a valuable experience for Isley, who was forced to go the eight-round distance for the first time. LaVallais, a 29-year-old from Louisiana, suffered a decision loss to another Top Rank prospect, Xander Zayas, in March. LaVallais (14-4-1, 9 KOs) won two straight fights since the setback and showed to be a durable opponent for Isley.
He stood in the pocket and traded with Isley, but the 24-year-old racked up points with his superior strength and shot placement. Isley improved to 8-0 with four knockouts. -- Coppinger
In Arizona: Shadasia Green stops Ogleidis Suarez in Round 5
Green dominated the fight with her pressure and hard punching combinations, forcing Suarez to not come out for the sixth round.
While Green didn't do a ton of damage, she landed hard right hands and started working the body ferociously in the fifth round. The official result was TKO at 2:00 of the fifth.
Green (11-0, 10 KOs), a 33-year-old New Jersey native, has stopped her last eight opponents. Suarez (30-5-1), a 35-year-old Venezuelan fighter, has now dropped two of her last three fights. -- Raimondi