Image: Fox Sports
UFC matchmaker and VP of talent relations Joe Silva, a man that doesn't even have his own Wikipedia page but is one of the most powerful players in the organization's front office, is leaving Zuffa-land at some point this year, according to several media reports.
While many assume that Silva might be leaving because of the new bosses in WME-IMG, MMA Junkie's Ben Fowlkes reported that according to a source, he profited from the sale enough to make his exit due to financial reasons and not personal reasons.
Silva is one of the few employees in the company left over from the SEG days.
In a business where many are happy to talk, tweet, and talk more in front of the cameras, Silva did rare interviews and appearances during his 21-year tenure with Zuffa. Yet, he was a fixture at UFC events, always seen cageside and in the cage post-fight shaking both competitors' hands.
As the head matchmaker, Silva's job was simple, yet complicated: create new competitors for champions and negotiate guys into fights. As many have pointed out, his relationships with some fighters have been rocky because of his negotiating tactics, but given the industry, lack of a union, and personnel, that's to be expected.
While UFC nor Silva has made any announcement, the question of who's next may be answered by an in-house option in Sean Shelby. The former WEC matchmaker has been working under Silva since the UFC acquired WEC, and currently oversees flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and the women's divisions. Like Silva, he is also not out in front of the public often doing interviews.
Dave Meltzer will have more on this on tonight's Wrestling Observer Radio and this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.