Former UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard claims retired UFC matchmaker Joe Silva asked him to break Roger Huerta’s arm.
Silva has been in the headlines lately as multiple MMA stars have shared horror stories from their time working with him. Fighters such as Mike Pierce, Eddie Alvarez and Maynard have all weighed in on the former matchmaker’s practices and comments behind the scenes.
Speaking on the Jon Fitch Knows Nothing podcast, Maynard was asked for his take on Silva. He shared a story from the lead-up to his 2009 win over Roger Huerta.
At the time, Huerta was viewed as one of the brightest young stars on the UFC roster, and was generating quite a bit of mainstream interest. Unfortunately, when Huerta spoke out against the UFC, he found himself in Silva’s crosshairs.
According to Maynard, the matchmaker asked him to break Huerta’s arm in their fight to punish him for criticizing the UFC.
“Huerta was kind of the poster guy, and I was asking for Huerta for a long time, just because I thought that was a great fight to get my name out there,” Maynard recounted. “They were pumping him up. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
“He spoke out against the UFC,” Maynard continued. “They were pissed. They were so pissed. Joe Silva called me up and said ‘look, I’m giving you this fight as a gift. I want you to go out there and break his arm. I want you to f**king kill him and blah, blah, blah. I was just like ‘holy shit, they are ruthless about that.’ [It was] because he spoke out.”
Maynard then recounted the issues that led to Huerta’s frayed relationship with the UFC.
“They actually took one of his sponsors or something,” Maynard said. “He was doing an appearance, and he was supposed to get paid by the alcohol company. [The UFC] called the alcohol company and said ‘don’t pay him, we’ll take care of him’ or something, and he didn’t get anything. He got a per diem. He was supposed to $10,000 when he went out there or something. Anyway, he did this article [criticizing the UFC], and they were pissed. They were so pissed. Then Joe Silva called me, I don’t know when it was, but he was definitely upset. I was on that streak. They obviously knew I was going to beat [Huerta]. But that’s when I knew this really isn’t about fighting. It’s not about where you’re at in the rankings or what you’re doing. It’s really about what they want.”
Maynard ending up beating Huerta by split decision. Apparently, he caught some flack from Silva post-fight for not beating his foe up more severely.
“It was a close fight,” Maynard said. “Afterwards, Joe Silva was a little butt-hurt that I didn’t beat him up worse.”
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