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Joel Silva leaving UFC

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poir420
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08.31.2016 | 12:47 PM ET

"“All of a sudden, he was shooting for a takedown, and I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re a wrestler now? Remember, I’m the black belt in jiu-jitsu. And you’re shooting on me now? This is a wrap." - Nate Diaz"

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GreenHornet
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08.31.2016 | 1:00 PM ET

If it is true then holy ****. 

"Smoke 'em if ya got 'em."

GreenHornet
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08.31.2016 | 1:44 PM ET

Fox Sports just confirmed Silva's departure.

"Smoke 'em if ya got 'em."

buffalo ben
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08.31.2016 | 3:05 PM ET

wut happen?

"You don't have to be perfect, just dont be fraudulant"

Kuma
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08.31.2016 | 3:45 PM ET

Now he can join a different circus




psychicdeath
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08.31.2016 | 3:55 PM ET

"I shall not cause harm to any vehicle nor the personal contents thereof, nor through inaction let that vehicle or the personal contents thereof come to harm. It's what I call the Repo Code, kid. "

Bigj383
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08.31.2016 | 4:01 PM ET

Joe Silva has been a great match maker for the UFC hopefully whoever they get to replace him will be just as good. Hopefully the whole load doesn't fall on Sean Shelby who is a good match maker in his own right. I always thought with 10 divisions and nearly 600 fighters that they should have at least three match makers.

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mikeyg
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08.31.2016 | 7:17 PM ET

Am I the only one who thinks Joe Silva was **** and are not sad to see him go? I mean, I know there is a lot of politics involved with match-making but he made a lot of really stupid match-ups over the years.
jodybanman
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08.31.2016 | 8:41 PM ET

Yes.  You are the only one.

"I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it."

Bigj383
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08.31.2016 | 10:13 PM ET

@mikeyG I prefer to focus on the great matches he has given us over the years. Crappy matches on occasion are inevitable but finding compelling and competitive fights for hundreds of fighters on a regular basis is not easy. Think of all the great matches we have gotten since 2001. Top ranked fighters faced eachother regularly.

"It does not make sense that humans deliberately malfunction. - Upgrade"

mikeyg
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08.31.2016 | 10:17 PM ET

Fair enough, I just think someone else could have done better. Just my opinion, and lots of matches I would have made instead of some of the ones he's made. Perhaps I'm not looking at the full scope of his match making career but fair enough anyway.
yossgold
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09.01.2016 | 4:09 AM ET

Eh, I tend to agree with mikey on this one, he didn't exactly have the hardest job to do since he could match whoever he wants against anyone, it was a time where everyone wanted to fight for the UFC at all costs and couldn't decline fights so easily (it's still like that, but starting to change ... a bit).

I think what you need to measure Joe by is actually not just the matchmaking (since he's called "talent management" not just matchmaker) and I think he failed miserably in most aspects:

1. The UFC's scouting (or lack thereof) system, which was also under his responsibility. I feel the UFC took the easy route, they picked a few promotions and just picked off their top guys and champions. They were super late to the Russian MMA party and to this date do a super poor job at scouting Russian talent (the UFC's flyweight division alone could be way better with just two major pickups, yet they do a flyweight TUF for a title shot and miss out on two of the best flyweights outside the UFC, just one example of how poor their scouting is). I know that they don't really need to scout because the best will most likely eventually gravitate to the UFC, but if I'm measuring a guy's performance I'm giving him a C at best in this department. I don't think the UFC employed actual good fighting minds and tried to recognize who can be great. They just saw a win streak (no matter how many cans it consisted of), picked the guy up, knowing that if he tanks, who cares. Rinse and repeat. It's a smart route to take, but taking it means I don't give you props for being great at your job.

2. Talent development and star power building. The UFC don't develop anything. The fighters will either push themselves to the top (not necessarily through in-cage talent) or tread in mud. Anyone with half an eye for talent would see that fighters like Rashid Magomedov, Taisumov and a few others should already be way higher up than they are now, but they don't have that charismatic pull so it takes them at least 3-4 fights more than WAY lesser fighters to get anywhere. Talent development is non-existant in the UFC. As for star building, Dana keeps saying that the UFC's platform and "bells and whistles" are a huge part of building a star (which is why they allowed themselves to extort hundreds of thousands off fighters' sponsors and eventually force Reebok down their throats) yet it is clearly not the case. If the UFC platform was any kind of trigger, Mighty Mouse and Cain Velasquez would be bigger stars than they are and Robbie Lawler would sell more than 300K PPV buys. It's all on the fighters. Fighters who went out and adressed the lowest common denominator (like Chael, Conor, Ronda) got super marketable while as others could have immense in-cage success, be exciting fighters (Aldo, pre-Sonnen rivalary Anderson Silva, DJ) and not be able to sell a PPV to save their lives. All development was on the fighters' shoulders, so Joe Silva failed there too.

3. I also think that part of Silva's job was supposed to be "the talent's guy" in UFC management. In order to be what I'd consider amazing at his job he was supposed to be the guy that manages "to make it work" with a much smaller roster so that the ones that are in the organization can still feel part of something and get paid more. The one that has their back. When you get an enourmous roster (at the expense "his" fighters) that you can pick and choose from, simply making good fights is pretty ******* easy. I've seen guys do a pretty decent job at it on threads here in Tapology (yeah, I know it's not the same, but you don't need to be a genius to do it when you've got the time to). If he'd have managed to put on great cards with a MUCH smaller roster, that's when I'd say, man this guy is an amazing matchmaker (something he actually used to be), but I think it was his job to tell the UFC brass, "Hey, I got this, I can give you 50-60 quality cards in a year without having 700-800 fighters, let's keep 400-500, pay them more, I'll make it happen" - that's when I'd consider him excelling at his job and not just doing a decent job).

If Joe's only job was matchmaking, sure he produced great fights, but how hard is it to do that when you've got the creme de la creme of MMA talent at your expense and can pick up and drop anyone you want?

In the main aspects that I feel are what a guy who's "in charge of the roster" should do, Joe wasn't mediocre, he was non-existent. He's a very passive guy who just rolls with the punches and does what he's told. He didn't adjust well to the UFC's growth from a smaller promotion into this huge organization and didn't take on the extra responsibilities I'd consider a real VP should. He just kept doing what he does with the only complexity addition being has has more spots to fill (yet it's a bit easier because with a huge roster, injuries, pull-outs, drug test failures are easier to deal with).

* Edited at 09.01.2016, 4:23 AM ET *

"Hay lohh you Mike, ay lov you Mike. Hyou say somesing like di fo me, and naw I say you ... I LOV YOU! See you som. Boy." -- Yoel Romero, UFC 205

mikeyg
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09.01.2016 | 4:21 AM ET

Spot on Yoss and something I definitely failed to mention that you brought up, Joe Silva (and Sean Shelby to an extent) were very much in charge of who was brought into the UFC, and for the most part they missed out on a lot of guys they should have signed over the years. Not sure if Joe Silva had anything to do with who gets on TUF but they never seemed to pick the best prospects for the show, but more so who would bring in the most views. So your first point is spot on. Your second point is obviously very true as well, they are dragging along guys who obviously deserve better fights then they are getting, like Rashid Magomedov/Khabib and other guys who keep getting prelim slots when they obviously deserve main card fights against top guys. 

It's a travesty sometimes who some of these guys are matched up against, while they make money fights that the casuals want to see instead of structuring it like the NFL or any other major sport where the best play the best. They obviously cared more about the people who were the most charismatic rather than who is actually the best talent, which is sad because that's more like WWE and less like a legit sport where the fans actually do care more about who's the best than who has the best personality. And your 3rd point was spot on as well, it's really not that hard to make good fights, but who you match them up against projects the guys whole career.

I'd like to also mention is that they were signing too many guys off of the local scene instead of asking for guys and girls already on the roster to step up on short notice fights, but they'd rather pay a local guy 8k/8k than have a well established guy who makes a lot more come in on short notice. I'm getting really sick of these guys I can't find on YouTube to study their fights like I could 4-5 years ago. They'd rather over-saturate cards then have this be the NFL of MMA.

* Edited at 09.01.2016, 4:24 AM ET *

subscape
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09.01.2016 | 9:46 AM ET

There's some great points been brought up here, agree very much with everything Yoss has said.
Joe has been a great over the years for his matchmaking and I myself am a fan of his due to some of the fights we have got to see over the years but at the same time I'm not disregarding the fact that there are plenty of people out there who could have done just as good a job if not better if they had been in his position and therefore do see an oppertunity for improvement if they bring in the right person.

What worries me the most about all this is who they might bring in to replace him.
I can't help but think that after spending over 3 billion dollars that WME are only going to be looking at the UFC in one way going forward and that's expanding the it into the mainstream and focusing mainly on trying to make it attractive to the casual viewer and more appealing to people who don't already have an interest in the sport.

To be honest I'm worried his predecessor could be a yes man in a suit who only has the companys incomings as their interest and no interest in the views and wishes of us die hard fans that have been following the sport for many many years.

This could mean a more Bellator style approach of matchmaking where fights are made purely just to sell more tickets and bring in the casual viewer rather than pleasing us die hards, I worry the new owners will feel that the fans that have been following the sport for many years are already here to stay regardless and if they lose a few hundred of us then no worries as they'll be making that back & more in putting on freak show fights or can crushing style match ups to attract more casual viewers.

I can't see them investing this amount of money into something and being happy leaving it to tick along as it has been and just plugging a few leaks and making some tweaks here and there and that to me means branching out and looking elsewhere to gain interest in the sport.

Hopefully I'm wrong but in the position the company is in now under the new ownership I can't help but feel that the UFC will be sent in a more entertainment direction than a competetive sport direction and maybe this is something that Joe Silva sees himself and may answer why he has chose to leave?

"When you can't see the angles no more, you're in trouble"

legacyofmisfortune
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09.01.2016 | 5:08 PM ET

@subscape

"To be honest I'm worried his predecessor could be a yes man in a suit who only has the companys incomings as their interest and no interest in the views and wishes of us die hard fans that have been following the sport for many many years."

"This could mean a more Bellator style approach of matchmaking where fights are made purely just to sell more tickets" 


I think this is exactly how the UFC  has managed themselves. I thinik Silva was a Yes man, that he was allowed to macth fighters how he saw best (kind off) as long as it served the UFC. there are hundreds of fights that didnt happened, just because (imo) Dana didnt like a fighter or they wouldn sell as good as some other crappy match, or they wanted to build hype on a specific fighter so they gave him the fighst that accomplished that.  I believe Dana and Lorenzo had a say in a great deal of fights I dont think Silva worked freely at all


I also agree with @Yoss and @mikeyg, Silva neglect several other areas of his position.  I always felt surprised when Bellator signed an upcoming talent before the UFC, fighters that have just started and they (Bellator) have invested in  building, the UFC has neglected scouting becuase they are used to "buying" whatever fighter they liked, they never concerned themselves with building fighters.


 this is just another proof of the disregard towards fighters. its really all about the money, the only acrtions they take tohelp fighters are the ones that will end up benefit themselves. they are the Jon Jones´s of promotions, they put one frace to the public and then act in an opposing manner.


Slva made great matches and suprised me several times with matches that I didnt care about and proved to be gold. but that was his job, and probably a lot of people could´ve done that with that set of fighters, specially considering that was all he did because he never paid attention to the other tasks of his position.


Im hoping that the new admins will be smarter and think long term, they need to build athletes not stars, stars are a fad and they will go away, but athletes remain... the NBA and NFL are not succesfull because they have mainstream stars, they have mainstream athletes and people care about who is the best, but they have targeted that audience because they act like a sport management group, the UFC tries to convience everyone they are a sports company but they really act like an entertainment, and they have never been able to change that, whether they try and faild or never even cared for it.

My hope is that the new owners can manage to make that jump from entertainment to sport.

* Edited at 09.01.2016, 5:12 PM ET *

"he is going to the hospital, and im going to the after party, ha ha ha" Nate Diaz

Bigj383
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09.01.2016 | 7:12 PM ET

What are the hundreds of fights that didn't happen? What are the big fights between two fighters in the same weightclass that were possible but didn't happen?

"It does not make sense that humans deliberately malfunction. - Upgrade"

legacyofmisfortune
legacyofmisfortune
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09.01.2016 | 7:45 PM ET

im not gonna make a huge list but to prove my point just think about perennial contenders that didnt (or havent´yet) fought for a title shot with longer win streaks than other contenders

Max Holloway
Demian Maia at WW
Tony Ferguson
John Fitch... that gap between titleshots

on the other hand there are fighters who have gotten title shots without earning them just because that fight sell

Nick Diaz vs GSP... and im a huge Diaz fan
Chael Sonnen..all his 3 titleshots
Belfort vs Jones
Lesnar  with 1-1 record on the UFC and 2-1 overall

I think that proves my point on how Silva matched fights because it suited the UFC and didn´t made fights that didnt helped the UFC from a financial standpoint

look at the Fighters Silva Cut because they didnt help financially the UFC inspite of being elite

Okami
Fitch
Shields

they passed on Askren being a top 5 WW at the time

but  he hires CM Punk.... all of those cuts and hires were Dana and Lorenzo, it didnt had anything to do with Silva

hence the Yes man,  its really not hard to see, you kind of have to not want to see it no not realize that Silva did what was told by Dana and Lorenzo, not 100% of the fights of course, but im sure that several of them

* Edited at 09.01.2016, 7:48 PM ET *

"he is going to the hospital, and im going to the after party, ha ha ha" Nate Diaz

jodybanman
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09.01.2016 | 7:58 PM ET

I don't think there is any comparison to Joe Silva's job in MMA, no other matchmaker has a roster so large and so deep, and managing a roster of that size and talent is a lot more difficult than people realize.  The biggest thing he does and has done is structured fights in such a way that the rankings are almost always easy to ascertain, and that happens through matchmaking.  All the UFC champions are # 1 in the world because of the path they had to take to get there, and the same goes for the fighters ranked 1-10.  If you look at rankings from any site, the top 5 is usually similar in all of them and is almost always UFC fighters.  You look at a number 2 or 4 or 5 guy and pretty much can say, yeah, that is where he belongs right now.  That is due to matchmaking, guys are matched against the right guys at the right time.  Whenever I see a huge mismatch in the UFC it's a shock, because it doesn't happen very often, very rarely, almost never, do I see a fight where I'm like, "that fight should not have happened".  Guys are well matched in terms of experience and ability and are not put in dangerous positions as sacrificial lambs.  

"I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it."

FaceStomper
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09.01.2016 | 8:10 PM ET

Unwarranted title shots ? 

Go talk to Bethe Correia and Chris Cariaso 

"You fight midgets" - Nate Diaz

Confusion
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09.01.2016 | 8:59 PM ET

@jodybanman
 "Guys are well matched in terms of experience and ability and are not put in dangerous positions as sacrificial lambs"

That's not true... they keep matching guys up against Humble Rumble.
jodybanman
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09.01.2016 | 9:16 PM ET

Anthony Johnson has to fight somebody.

FaceStomper, champions aren't always going to face the best available contender due to timing or lack of opponent...there have been way worse title challengers than Cariaso and Correia.  How about Buentello, Eilers, Hardy, etc.  It happens.  However, no UFC champion gets a free ride, they always face the best in the world.  

"I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it."


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