It has been a rough week for former UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, as plenty of former UFC fighters have bashed the practices of the former UFC employee.
Not many have come to Silva’s defenses, but two have stepped up in retired professional MMA fighter Chael Sonnen and fighter agent/manager Ali Abdelaziz. Sonnen says that a lot of fighters were just seeking some form of payback after Silva hurt their feelings.
“He was really good at what he did, and Joe really deserves a lot of compliments for that,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “Some of the stories from the guys that have been coming out are very mean, and they were very mean because somewhere along the way Joe had hurt their feelings, and this was like that payback of sorts. But I don’t know that if you listen to these guys’ stories, and they were largely telling them on social media, you will also probably miss there’s tongue in cheek in some of these stories. There was an appreciation for the attitude and the way in which Joe Silva did things. I have my own Joe Silva stories, but they were all positive. Some of them were very similar to the guys whose feelings show. I just got it. I got Joe from the beginning, and I get he was a hard worker with a ton of stuff to do and like anybody, there’s only so many hours in the day. I also understood there was a very big human element to Joe’s job that Joe did not naturally fit. Joe had to become the bearer of bad news. He wanted that job; he put on great matches for all of the fans and viewers.”
Sonnen has two separate runs in the UFC from 2006 to 2013, with the majority of, it not all of that time happening during Silva’s time in the UFC.
Abdelaziz, who represents a lot of fighters who fought during Silva’s UFC tenure, calls the fighters cowards for not confronting Silva face to face.
“I see a lot of things about Joe Silva, and it’s not true,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “Joe Silva, yes, he was too honest for some of these cowards, and I think it’s very cowardly when a man is no longer even with the company and people come out and talk (expletive) about him. The thing is, if you have a problem with Joe Silva, that’s fine. Why didn’t you go public when he was there? Why didn’t you do it? Sean Shelby, too. I talk (expletive) to Sean Shelby all the time. I say it in his face, and he talks (expletive) to me, too. I am man enough to go to him.”
While two personalities have some to the defense of Silva, one person who has yet to speak up is Silva himself.