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Joe Silva: The UFC’s Smooth-Talking Apparition

Joe Silva UFC
(A rare Joe Silva sighting caught on film. Like seeing Bigfoot ride by on a unicorn.)

As regular Cage Potato readers already know, we’re big fans of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva both because he does a consistently kick-ass job of putting interesting fights together, and also because he’s a passionate, passionate man who will not hesitate to jump right out of his chair if you do something awesome.  The thing about Silva is, nobody really knows much about him since he doesn’t do interviews and generally stays out of the spotlight as much as possible.  We get a brief glimpse of the man behind the machine in this Las Vegas Sun article, though somehow it manages to make him seem even more mysterious than before:

Even [Dana] White, who is pretty much the complete source for all Silva-related information, remains hazy on his background.
"Joe was involved even before Zuffa bought the company," said White… "What I believe is that the old owner didn’t know a lot about MMA and Joe was kind of his right-hand man. It was actually Tito (Ortiz) that told me at that time, ‘You should talk to this guy.’"

And apparently when you talk to Joe Silva, you end up doing whatever it is Joe Silva wants you to do.  Just ask Rashad Evans:

"Every time Joe Silva calls, you have an excitement but also an, ‘Oh (expletive), Joe Silva is calling," Evans said. "He asks you what you think, but he has a way of making you do it even when at the time you don’t want to do it. He’s got a knack of persuasion where you’ll be talking and then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Wait, what did I just agree to?’ … He’ll persuade you where he’ll say, ‘Listen, you can do this and you can do that and your styles are like this.’  And eventually you’re like, ‘Yeah Joe, that does sound good. Let’s do it.’"

A man without a past who can talk you into anything.  If that’s not the plot of a romance novel, it ought to be.  You think the two of you are just meeting for dinner and to discuss your budding MMA career.  Then the next thing you know you wake up feeling cold and alone, just in time to catch a glimpse of Joe Silva casually tossing his sportcoat over his shoulder on his way out of your hotel room. 

Did it really happen? you ask yourself.  Do you dare tell anyone?

Cagepotato Comments

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SL8Eddy- July 7, 2009 at 9:21 am
So some little runt gets back stage credentials but not handsome Joe Silva?
UFC fan- July 7, 2009 at 9:11 am
Sheps Says:
Tue, 07/07/2009 - 06:22

Really UFC Fan, are you really in the position to be calling anyone dumb?

Did sir take the dunce cap off of your head for the day and now you feel like a big smart boy?

Either way my point is valid."

I am not the one dissing Joe Silva, and being told by everyone that hes a DORK..that's YOU!
And how is your point valid when nobody fucking agrees with you , you dumbass.
El Famous Burrito- July 7, 2009 at 6:27 am
Just for the record, that is not me in that photo with Joe Silva.
Sheps- July 7, 2009 at 6:22 am
Really UFC Fan, are you really in the position to be calling anyone dumb?

Did sir take the dunce cap off of your head for the day and now you feel like a big smart boy?

Either way my point is valid.
PauloThiagoSilva- July 7, 2009 at 12:13 am
Joe Silva is the Kaiser Soce of MMA.
Houstons db- July 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm
yea so everyone is hating on Sheps which sucks because Sheps reminds me of shephards pie and i reallllllly like shephards pie.. anywayssss, rankings are important and so are exciting fights, but when it comes down to it,., the fighters agree to fight the fights and dont give a shiz about their rankings so why should we care more about it than the fighters themselves, i like the ufc and Silva's matchmaking soooo.... let get it on, come on!!!
sPeLLcHeCkEr- July 6, 2009 at 8:42 pm
@Sheps: I'm curious as to what MMA organization you do prefer, and/or find more entertaining than the UFC? And more importantly, why?

Oh and one more thing... you're not going to watch UFC 100?

I'm sure that your self-professed 'love for MMA' should show everyone here that your opinion is valid, but you really haven't. You're just UFC-hating, unless you can find a better way to further substantiate your claim.
munche- July 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm
@Sheps: Joe Silva gives us a card like Saturday, where we're getting shit like Overeem vs. Werdum 2 on Strikeforce. Or in Japan, Hong Man Choi vs. Jose Canseco.

munche- July 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm
PRIDE paid their guys in the same scale as UFC. Yeah, you had stupid ass payouts like $1m to Royce Gracie or Yoshida or other random pro wrestlers, but guys like Wand and Fedor were making a couple hundred grand per fight, and they're making the same in the UFC.

Look at the reality here....there are PLENTY of other options. Strikeforce, Affliction, a million other small time orgs not to mention Japan. Why do you think everyone is going TO UFC and not away from it?

Do you want UFC to just pay 2-4 guys $6M a fight and completely fuck every other fighter like boxing does? Give us 1-2 good fights a year at max for the same PPV cost?

Yeah, awesome, sounds like a deal.

Not to mention the fact that most of the big names are getting backend points off of the PPV, and you aren't seeing that on the athletic commission's pay sheet.

Those guys making $5k? They were making $1k on the small show for the fight before that. Now that they're in UFC, every Tom, Dick and Harry is flocking to their gym to train, and suddenly they can find bigger and better sponsors, get appearances, etc etc.

This isn't 5 years ago, when guys like Sean Sherk were retiring because there wasn't money in the sport. People in the UFC ARE getting paid. I see plenty of videos of fighters with their fancy Range Rovers and Escalades, so let's not pretend they're living hand to mouth, eh?
UFC fan- July 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm
Sheps, and joedirt , you two are fucking stupid, stop talking.
You are wrong and you are goofy as fuck, you sound like those conspiracy theorist who sit around in weird clubs talking about aliens and how the Government staged walking on the two are amazingly off the wall stupid.
Sheps- July 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm
Seriously, calling me a redneck is fine (couldn't be further from a redneck really) But calling me a idiot and misspelling half of your sentence is just not right.....*cough*rockabee*cough*

I love MMA as a sport, its nut munchers like Sweden that constantly feel the need to stroke the ego of the UFC like they are jesus. Grow a pair you fanny.
FreddyFangers- July 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm
Sheps is a filthy redneck that has glitter on his face because took part in the "ride for five" promo at the Gold Club last night.

True, they need a ranking system, but until everyone becomes more than a casual MMA fan you have to put on an entertaining MMA fight over the right one. They will lose viewers in the range of BooCoo if Leites/Silva is headlined every month.

Eat on some shit Sheps..........BONESAW IS REAAAA-DY!!
KidDinomite- July 6, 2009 at 5:48 pm
I was just wondering what they were thinking putting Thales Leites up against Anderson Silva. Tell me no one saw what we all saw happening before the actual fight.

I think as businessmen, Joe Silva and Dana White are at the top of their game. White just likes to be on TV a lot, and apparently likes to pose as a fighter on magazine covers. Basically White's a poseur but they get shit done and with a roster like they have with the UFC, they can pretty much do whatever they want. Yeah they do need a more structured ranking system, hell if they have a boring title fight, put together an exciting non-title fight as the main event.

It'll be interesting to see what happens though, when sponsors begin dropping the fighters who aren't A-list because of the 100,000 dollar fee and would-be great fighters sign with other companies like Strikeforce.
Dmonicideals- July 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm
@ Jay Smith:

You say that the UFC puts on shows the fans want to watch, right?

Then you proceed to down on the UFCs biggest draw? Clearly, a good amount of people MUST have wanted to see Brocks fights, with as well as the PPVs have done. So how, may I ask, did they "get one wrong" with Lesnar? He is poised to main event a record breaking UFC, what went wrong?

Just because you aren't able to look at fighters objectively, without getting all mushy about this guy, or hostile and jealous of that guy, doesn't mean he isn't a REAL fighter, with a VERY REAL chance of unifying the HW title in 5 days.
rokabee- July 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Those ones were goin of a rankin system ;)
gracie_nuthugger- July 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Ah yes, so HE'S the man who believes that Chris Leben or Patrice Cote are main event guys.

I just love the fact that Jared Shaw and Joe Silva do teh EXACT same shit ringside but one is passionate while the other is unprofessional. It depends whose nutsack youre chomping on I guess.
Jay Smith- July 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm
No one said that Shep was wrong when he said that the UFC didn't have a ranking system. We are all aware of that. We are also glad about that. The UFC puts together the fights we real MMA fans want to see. Every now and then they get it wrong (Lesner), but for the most part, it's almost like seeing a super fight every card. There's a reason no other organization is the same size as the UFC buddy boy!
Joedirt- July 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm
.... I must add.... if another organization were the same size as the UFC... it would force them to start paying the fighters what they are worth. Believe me.... that would be better for the evolution of the sport.
Joedirt- July 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm
Everyone gets bent out of shape for saying Silva is a dick or Dana is a dick. But they are. Just because Shep is RIGHT about the UFC not having a ranking system doesn't mean he's trashing MMA. I love MMA but gotta say that White and Silva (the UFC as a whole) is hurting the sport. Combined they are the Don King of MMA. There is nobody there to keep them honest... they dictate who fights and with marketing make it all look justified. If another organization would grow to the size of the UFC.... some REAL competition.... it would help the sport as a whole.
rokabee- July 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm
Sheps is some guy from the UK who eats spotted dick, and plays the horse jockey. ....Literally.
Swedish- July 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Sheps is a dirty, trashy redneck with $3 to his name.

He admins to not being able to afford anything besides crack. Don't listen to anything he has to say.

The UFC is on top of the game, crushing the competition. They consistently display the best fights the fans want to see.
rokabee- July 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm
Sheps ur an idiot still..even on the comments. Joe Silva does an awesome job picking fights but his judgements only go so far, Dana and the Fertitta's have a lot to do with some of the fights (Lesnar title shot.)

Keep it up Joe.
Hexed79- July 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm
Regarding rankings, Lesnar is the exception, rather than the rule.

Also, it's a pretty weak argument to make post-Lesnar/Couture, seeing how Lesnar won.

Granted, he got his shot too early. The UFC absolutely put him on the fast track. But, to be the champ...

We'll see what happens against Mir.
shizznitt- July 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm
If I had a haircut like that I'd stay out the spotlight as well.
gesus47- July 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm
so joe silva is like richard alpert from lost?