Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen was hit hard by the news that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had decided to retire.
Sonnen spoke about Silva’s departure from the UFC on his latest episode of “Beyond the Fight”.
“Man I am having mixed emotions over here. So I’m taking this as bad news but maybe I am wrong. Here’s the deal Joe Silva is leaving the UFC. He’s retiring. I want to be happy for Joe Silva. I watched him. I watched him over the years working hard and travelling all over the place. He was busy non-stop seven days a week. So I watched this whole thing and I want to be happy for him that he’s retiring and going to get some time. But I can’t help but feel man, that’s Joe Silva. Vice President of the UFC forever. I don’t even know how long he has been there. I think he dates back to 2001. But I am going off memory. You’re talking about a decade and a half or more. I can’t remember when Joe started match making.”
Sonnen continued and shared how Silva actually got his start with the UFC:
“Joe Silva is a kick boxer himself and he started watching MMA and he started reading about the match-ups that were coming. He contacted someone at the UFC, it may have been Dana himself. But he contacted someone though. I can’t remember how he even found the phone number or contacted them. But he gets a hold of the UFC, it might have even been by email, but he starts telling them the things they are doing wrong. ‘Hey here’s the problem with this matchup you’ve got. Why didn’t you do this matchup instead. And you need to consider and when you’re matching these guys up you need to consider this’. Well, he’s making sense right?There is a reason that he went on to be the most famous, highest-paid, longest standing matchmaker in the history of the sport because he was right. So the people at the UFC who were getting his messages started listening right away and asked Joe ‘so what is it you would do?’. So he starts telling him here is what I would do but here is why. Here is why this would be an interesting and compelling matchup. They hire him. He ends up with a job. Because he was so accurate and so well thought out, he was able to see things that other people were not able to see.”
Chael explained that he’s never before been this upset about someone leaving the promotion:
“He’s the best. And he’s the most famous and he’s the longest standing and he’s leaving. And it hurts! I read this news, man it hurts. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never felt this way about anyone leaving the UFC!”
Check out the full “Beyond the Fight” episode with Chael Sonnen above.
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