A unique soccer vs. MMA matchup has been added to the undercard Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva.
Former NFL All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell will face ex-UFC fighter Uriah Hall in a pro boxing match on October 29 in Glendale, Arizona.
The four-round competition was contracted at 195 pounds and none of the men may weigh over 200 pounds on weigh-in day, according to officials. Bell and Hall, who are making their professional boxing debuts, will wear 10-ounce gloves. The card is being promoted by Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions and distributed by Showtime pay-per-view.
“I’m as excited for Hall vs Bell as I am for Paul vs Silva,” said Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions. “You have a legitimate top 10 MMA striker against a world class athlete who has proven he has real boxing ability and knockout power. This fight takes our pay-per-view to a new level and these guys will no doubt provide a memorable fight for the fans in the stands and those watching.”
Bell even called Paul last December about fighting smaller men with no boxing experience. In July, Bell announced he would not be playing in the NFL this season to explore his future in boxing. The four-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler defeated fellow former running back Adrian Peterson in the fifth round of an exhibition bout Sept. 10. Bell trained at Fortune Gym in Los Angeles before the fight.
“As soon as Most Valuable Promotions approached me about participating in the Paul Silva pay-per-view, I told them I wanted to be there and I didn’t care who the opponent was,” Bell said. “Uriah Hall will feel my punching power and will tap like he’s about to be subdued. He’s not built like me.”
However, Hall has much more martial arts experience than Bell and is a black belt in Kyokushin Karate. The Jamaican fighter, who grew up in New York and now trains at Fortis MMA in Dallas, has been an MMA pro for 17 years and spent nine years in the UFC. Hall, 38, announced his retirement from promotion in August after losing to Andre Muniz on July 2 at UFC 276, his second straight loss.
Hall has always been known for his power. He was built as a top contender for The Ultimate Fighter in 2013 after a brutal spinning hook kick knockout win on the show. Hall’s penchant for turning off the lights on his opponents didn’t stop in the UFC, either. His eight KO/TKO wins tied with Anderson Silva and Thiago Silva for the most in promotion middleweight division history.
“Le’Veon Bell, I hope you’re doing your best,” Hall said. “I know I will.”
Paul, the YouTuber who is now 5-0 as a professional boxer, will lead the card against former longtime UFC middleweight champion Silva, one of MMA’s greatest fighters who still holds the record for most consecutive wins in the UFC -History holds (16). Also on the card: Chris Avila, a UFC and Bellator veteran from Nate Diaz’s camp, takes on popular YouTube doctor Mikhail “Doctor Mike” Varshavski, and 18-year-old prospect Ashton Sylve meets in his so far toughest test on the veteran Braulio Rodriguez.
Paul teased that Bell vs. Hall might produce an opponent for themselves down the line.
“Adding NFL superstar Le’Veon Bell to the card only increases the star power of this fight and when he’s up against a fighter as experienced and dangerous as Uriah Hall, it’s going to be fireworks,” Paul said. “Taking on this challenge is proof that Bell is serious about boxing professionally and after his KO of Adrian Peterson he looks like a force to be reckoned with. Hall, on the other hand, has proven himself multiple times in the UFC and we know what he’s capable of.
https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/34739492/leveon-bell-fight-ex-ufc-fighter-uriah-hall-oct-29 Le’Veon Bell to fight ex-UFC fighter Uriah Hall on Oct. 29