Back when mixed martial arts was still a “human cockfight,” Joe Silva was gaining the attention of the original UFC owners with his passion for the budding sport. Like so many fans in the early ’90s, he would become notorious as a VHS tape trader and e-newsletter guy, which the UFC then tapped, giving him the matchmaker job.
As someone who stays out of the limelight, seen only as the diminutive, smiling face post-fight in the Octagon, hardcore fans knew he was a silent, but vastly important part of the UFC machine. Now, after the $4.2 billion sale of the UFC from which he’s profited from as an executive, Silva is reportedly retiring to spend some time with his family.
Sean Shelby, who came over after the WEC merger to manage the lighter weight divisions, would presumably be the guy to take over matchmaking, and with him, UFC fans are in good hands. But this is still yet another check in the box under the “end of an era” exam. The old days are gone, and hopefully the UFC’s quality of late doesn’t head off into the sunset as well.
The UFC has not officially made an announcement on Silva’s reported decision to retire.
(Via MMA Junkie)