UFC matchmaker Joe Silva leaving the company by yearend—report | Inquirer Sports

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva leaving the company by yearend—report

/ 11:39 AM September 02, 2016

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Photo from Joseph Silva/Twitter @MMA_Matchmaker

One of the most recognizable matchmakers in mixed arts has decided to call it quits.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staple Joe Silva is reportedly leaving the company following its shift in ownership.

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The 48-year-old executive, who also serves as the UFC’s vice president of talent relations, has informed the company of his planned departure in the near future—possibly after the end of the 2016 campaign, a Yahoo Sports report said.

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His exit comes in the aftermath of the UFC’s sale for a record-breaking $4 billion to an investment group led by WME-IMG.

READ: UFC sold for $4 billion—report

With the hefty payout he reportedly received from the sale, Silva plans to retire to spend more time with his family.

His departure signals the end of another era for the UFC, which has partnered with Silva for the past two decades. He started as a consultant of the company’s original owners, Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG), after he noticed an ad in “Black Belt Magazine” and offered his services.

He was one of the few hires to stick through the SEG-to-Zuffa transition in 2001.

Known by fans as the diminutive, smiling face after each fight in the octagon, Silva handled matchmaking duties for the lightweight divisions and above, while former WEC decision-maker Sean Shelby worked for featherweight and below.

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Shelby will be retained by the company and is expected to have an increased role upon Silva’s departure.

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Neither Silva, who typically does not go on record with the media, nor the UFC has made a formal announcement of his decision.  Khristian Ibarrola

TAGS: departure, Joe Silva, UFC, WME-IMG

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