Jake Paul (R) punches Anderson Silva of Brazil during their...

Jake Paul (R) punches Anderson Silva of Brazil during their cruiserweight bout at Gila River Arena on October 29, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.  Credit: Getty Images

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jake Paul won a unanimous decision against former UFC star Anderson Silva on Saturday night, giving the YouTuber-turned-boxer a signature win as he gains credibility in the sport.

The entertaining fight went the eight-round distance and the final round was a doozy, with a ferocious right hand from Paul (6-0) sending Silva to the canvas. Silva was able to continue and even landed some punches in the final minute, but it wasn't enough to sway the judges.

The fight was slow to develop with Silva rarely throwing punches in the opening round, but the Brazilian landed a few hard shots in the second round, dancing around the ring while avoiding Paul's biggest blows. Both fighters exchanged some taunts early but the bravado gave way to concentration as both realized it would be a lengthy fight.

Paul held his own during the middle rounds — with blood coming from Silva's nose — but couldn't land most of his powerful swings. That started to change in the later rounds as the younger Paul gained confidence and the punches started connecting.

It was a spectacle in front of more than 14,000 fans that mixed boxing and all different types of celebrity, but the main draw was the 25-year-old Paul, who has shown a surprising knack for skills in the ring. He's also a master of self-promotion, riding up to Wednesday's open workout on a horse and walking around Desert Diamond Arena on Saturday with two people in gigantic Transformers-like outfits behind him.

Silva (3-2) was the fan favorite, receiving loud cheers when he entered the ring. The 47-year-old built his fame as a UFC star but got his start in boxing and returned to the sport in 2020.

Paul and Silva's eight-round catchweight bout was on a card that included former NFL running back Le’Veon Bell fighting recently retired UFC veteran Uriah Hall, along with a YouTube-famous primary care physician named Doctor Mike, who took on former MMA fighter Chris Avila.

The 30-year-old Bell — a two-time All-Pro who had his best football years with the Pittsburgh Steelers — was making his debut in the ring. He lost a unanimous decision to Hall in his four-round cruiserweight bout.

“I thought I did OK," Bell said. “That’s a great fighter right there. I think he got the best of me.”

Paul weighed in for the main event at 186.5 pounds while Silva was at 186.1.

Paul only took up boxing in earnest in December 2019, but he has the financial resources and the determination to do it big. He claims to have a 30-person team supporting his training, which is largely done at the Cleveland native’s base in Puerto Rico.

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