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UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva Retires

After more than 10 years matchmaking the biggest show in mixed martial arts, Joe Silva is retiring.

After more than 10 years matchmaking the biggest show in mixed martial arts, Joe Silva is retiring.

The Vice President of Talent Relations has been with the UFC since UFC 3, when Semaphore Entertainment owned it. Back then marketing ace Campbell McLarens vision was to make this the biggest spectacle on earth, and he succeeded with skyrocketing pay-per-view numbers that reached almost half a million viewers.

It was considered blood sport and labeled by Senator John McCain as human cockfighting, however, Silva, who was an overachieving fan that mailed yellow legal pads of credible insight and advice to McLaren, saw MMA as a sport worthy of true pruning and attention to detail.

Since then, the Fertitta brothers and Dana White purchased it and Silva silently led the way creating all matches and guiding the incredible spending spree that brought fighters like Rampage Jackson and Brock Lesnar into the fold.


With the reported $4 billion sale of the UFC to WME/IMG, Silva reported raked in a hefty sum for his dedication and vision and is ready to leave the sport he unselfishly helped build.


His protg and longtime friend, Sean Shelby will now take the full reins of matchmaking, steering the UFC into its new future. Joe Silva was a dynamic mysterious change-maker whose direction and vision will be sorely missed.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the
PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider’s take featuring the world’s biggest names.