The Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission agreed to let Silva fight during a special meeting Thursday night, after requiring the MMA legend to take extra medical exams a day earlier.
Commission chairman Scott Fletcher said at the meeting that he attended the Paul-Silva news conference Thursday and came away impressed by how Silva was able to articulate himself while answering questions. Fletcher said that Silva submitted a “pristine” MRI and he was “completely comfortable” with letting the former longtime UFC middleweight champion fight.
Dr. Ara Feinstein, a commissioner who is also a surgeon and a ringside physician, said he reviewed Silva’s neurological report and MRI and saw no issues with them.
“When I look at all of those things together, I don’t have any more concerns with Mr. Silva fighting Saturday than I would have any other fighter,” Feinstein said.
Silva, 47, told MMA Weekly in an interview that was recorded last month and aired earlier this week that he was knocked out twice during his training camp, raising regulatory red flags. Silva’s team sent out a statement this week stating that Silva’s native language isn’t English — he is from Brazil and his first language is Portuguese — and Silva misspoke.
On Wednesday, Silva told ESPN that he was just joking in the interview and the commission made him do more medical testing after commissioners saw the remarks.
“When I’m talking about the knockout, it’s just to help the [teammates] who help me, to [lift] them up,” Silva said. “I was just joking. It’s crazy, but it’s fine.”
Paul said after the news conference Thursday that he had “no concern” at all about how the meeting would go and was confident he’d be fighting Silva on Saturday.