Two MMA legends will fight, but it won’t be in a cage.
Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz signed contracts to face each other in an eight-round cruiserweight boxing match on September 11 in the co-feature before Oscar De La Hoya meets Vitor Belfort in the pay-per-view main event, Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN on Wednesday.
The Triller PPV will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will feature two other boxing matches: former heavyweight champion David Haye vs. Joe Fournier and Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll in a 130-pound fringe contender battle.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity, along with my team, to get in the ring against Tito Ortiz on September 11 with Triller Fight Club, who are really shaking things up in the world of combat sports,” Silva said.
The Silva-Ortiz and Haye-Fournier fights will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, which means they will be real fights, not shows. Silva and Ortiz will fight eight two-minute rounds, and Haye and Fournier will fight eight three-minute rounds.
“Big” John McCarthy, a longtime former UFC referee, will coach Silva-Ortiz.
Silva, 46, scored a surprise victory over Julio César Chávez Jr. in June, just his third professional boxing match, and then entered negotiations for a fight with YouTube personality Logan Paul.
Silva is a former UFC middleweight champion and holds the longest reign record in the promotion’s history at 2,457 days. He is one of the most recognized fighters in MMA history, with 18 UFC PPV starting appearances. He suffered a fourth-round TKO loss to Uriah Hall in October, his seventh loss in his last nine Octagon appearances, and was released by the UFC a month later.
Ortiz was also one of the UFC’s most profitable stars. He will make his professional boxing debut at age 46, nearly 10 years after his last UFC fight.
“I’m excited to take on a new challenge and compete against another great fighter in Anderson Silva,” said Ortiz, a longtime UFC light heavyweight champion who made his UFC 13 debut in 1997. “As a patriot, fight on the 11th of September means a lot to me. “
The Haye-Fournier fight will kick off a two-pronged PPV, with the first part targeting UK fans. Haye, a former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, is one of the biggest boxing stars in UK history. He retired after a second loss to Tony Bellew in May 2018.
Fournier is a part-time boxer who scored a stoppage of musical artist Reykon in April on the Jake Paul-Ben Askren Triller undercard.
The return of Haye, 40, will headline the first part of the pay-per-view event that begins at 5 p.m. ET. A free viewing will begin afterward, Kavanaugh said, before the second part of the pay-per-view begins again at 9 p.m. ET.
“Our goal has always been to expand audiences for combat sports, music and culture together,” Kavanaugh said. “To expand MMA to boxing and boxing to MMA, that was teased and its potential was demonstrated with [Floyd] Mayweather- [Conor] McGregor … This fight between two very polarizing MMA legends will hopefully lead to the MMA audience not only seeing the fight, but also the way we are doing boxing. “