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Why are Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz fighting a boxing match

Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz may be best known for their championship exploits in mixed martial arts, but will find each other in the ring on Saturday night in a battle of fists.

Anderson “Spider” Silva (R) throws a punch at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (L) during a fight as part of the Tribute to the Kings at Jalisco Stadium on June 19, 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Anderson Silva is finding a new life in combat sports as a 46 year old boxer after a long and storied career in mixed martial arts. Having last competed in MMA 11 months ago, Anderson has since stayed busy — competing once in boxing, taking a victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Tito Ortiz is making his debut ring walk as a boxing professional at approximately 10:00 p.m. ET on Triller Fight Club as one part of the co-main event. Ortiz is a former world champion in MMA and is feeling confident in his hands after knocking out longtime rival Chuck Liddell in 2018 and following up that victory with another finish in 2019 over Alberto Rodriguez.

Both Ortiz and Silva circled each other in mixed martial arts but never managed to stand at opposite ends from each other in the cage. Now, Triller Fight Club has given the Brazilian standout and the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” a chance to establish a rivalry that surprisingly will start in boxing over the course of an eight-round professional bout. Each round will last two minutes.

Money is a driving force, and in this case it also allows the growing niche boxing promotion to pair up two big names from outside boxing. It follows in the now-growing tradition of finding non-boxers to square off in the ring and bring their non-boxing fanbases to the event.

Full Card for Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz

  • Main event: Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort, 10 rounds, light heavyweights
  • Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz, 8 rounds, cruiserweights
  • David Haye vs. Joe Fournier, 8 rounds, heavyweights
  • Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Anthony Chavez vs. Diuhl Olguin, featherweights