NATE DIAZ has spoken out ahead of Jake Paul’s next fight against UFC legend Anderson Silva.
The eight-round, 187-pound catch-weight bout is scheduled for October 29 in Arizona and will be the pair’s sixth boxing match.
Diaz, who returns against Khamzat Chimaev on Saturday, has been linked with the fight against the boxer-turned-youtuber.
And he praised Paul even before the biggest test of his boxing career.
Diaz said: “I think they would be stupid to try to exclude him (Silva) from this fight at all, but I also see Jake Paul could win or he could do well too.
“(He is) young, driven, strong, inspired to box. So I think it’s going to be an interesting fight.”
Diaz, 37, will leave the UFC after facing 28-year-old Chimaev in the latest fight for his contract.
It would free him up to face Paul, 25, in the future after the MMA veteran started his own promotion.
Paul was scheduled for August 6th until chaos ensued.
23-year-old Tommy Fury retired for the second time after initially suffering a rib injury in training before then facing US visa issues.
Hasim Rahman Jr., 31, had signed to replace Fury but a weight disagreement with Paul resulted in their fight being called off.
Paul last fought in December, knocking out Fury’s substitute Tyron Woodley, 40, whom he had already beaten on points four months earlier.
This contributed to KOs against online rival “AnEsonGib”, ex-NBA player Nate Robinson (38) and retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren (38).
Silva, 47, was released from the UFC in 2020 after suffering five losses in six fights, three of which were in the balance.
But he has made a successful transition to boxing, having already had a 1-1 record in the ring.
Silva defeated former world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., 36, in June 2021 and knocked out former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, 47, in September.
Most recently, he knocked out Bruno Machado in May and Diaz warned not to be surprised by the Brazilian’s success in the ring.
Diaz said: “I didn’t like when he was fighting Cesar Chavez Jr. and they, I think maybe it was the organization they were fighting under or whatever, but like everyone they spoke surprised that Anderson Chavez Jr. struck.
“Respect to Chavez Jr, senior, all that boxing but why are you doing surprised that Anderson Silva is fine?
“What do you think Chavez Jr. is doing in there with Anderson Silva, anyway?
“They considered him the GOAT in the UFC for a long time, you know? There was no appreciation for that and I thought that was stupid.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/boxing/6182968/ufc-nate-diaz-jake-paul-anderson-silva-boxer/ UFC star Nate Diaz predicts Jake Paul’s winner against Anderson Silva and praises the ‘motivated’ YouTuber-turned-boxer