Manny Pacquiao (Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com)Which MMA Fighter Most Closely Resembles Manny Pacquiao? The MMA Corner Staff June 24, 2019 Events, News, Promotions, Spotlight Manny Pacquiao’s name is in the news again, with his upcoming fight against Keith Thurman set to take place in July. And Pacquiao’s career arc is an interesting one, in that it resembles the career of one of the most prolific stars in the history of mixed martial arts. That MMA fighter is Anderson Silva, as the two have similarities in their careers that are fascinating to trace over, with highs and lows that match up very nicely over the years. Both fighters started out as anomalies in their respective sports. Pacquiao had the kind of quickness that was almost impossible to keep up with in boxing, as he rattled off victories against greats of his era like Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto. Silva, meanwhile, was beating names like Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson in an incredibly impressive career of his own that saw him finish fights with both submissions and strikes regularly. But both fighters’ uncommon abilities didn’t keep them at the top of their sports for as long as they’d have liked. For Silva, the decline started during his two fight series against Chris Weidman, with the second of those fights seeing Silva suffer a horrific leg injury, and he’s won just one fight since. Today, Silva is saying he wants to continue fighting, even after a knee injury took him out early against Jared Cannonier. Silva is regularly an underdog in his fights now, as he is taking on younger opponents. Pacquiao is largely the same. His decline wasn’t attributed to one specific moment, but his 7-4 record in his last 11 fights is not great by boxing standards. And like Silva, his advanced age has made him an underdog in many of his fights. Pacquiao is an underdog against Thurman in their scheduled July matchup, with the undefeated Thurman calling out Pacquiao’s fighting style in the lead up to the fight. One of the issues with both of these fighters carrying their careers on long past when most fighters walk away is the risk for additional injuries. Boxing promoter Bob Arum has had concerns for Pacquiao’s brain health as he fights into his 40s. And given that MMA can often feature more significant strikes than boxing, there is no reason to think that similar concerns aren’t warranted for Anderson Silva. This is especially true given that Silva is four years older than Pacquiao. Both Manny Pacquiao and Anderson Silva are fighters who are past their prime who, for whatever reason, continue stepping into their respective rings in an attempt to regain their previous form. But given how great both fighters were earlier in their careers, it would be tough for them to reach those heights again no matter what age they were. In that way, the career paths of Silva and Pacquiao have been incredibly similar, and fans of both sports will hope that both can find a fitting and safe end to their careers when they choose to walk away from fighting for good.