After more than 10 years matchmaking the biggest show in mixed martial arts, Joe Silva is retiring.

The Vice President of Talent Relations has been with the UFC since UFC 3, when Semaphore Entertainment owned it. Back then marketing ace Campbell McLaren’s vision was to make this the biggest spectacle on earth, and he succeeded with skyrocketing pay-per-view numbers that reached almost half a million viewers.

It was considered blood sport and labeled by Senator John McCain as human cockfighting, however, Silva, who was an overachieving fan that mailed yellow legal pads of credible insight and advice to McLaren, saw MMA as a sport worthy of true pruning and attention to detail.

Since then, the Fertitta brothers and Dana White purchased it and Silva silently led the way creating all matches and guiding the incredible spending spree that brought fighters like Rampage Jackson and Brock Lesnar into the fold.

With the reported $4 billion sale of the UFC to WME/IMG, Silva reported raked in a hefty sum for his dedication and vision and is ready to leave the sport he unselfishly helped build.

His protégé and longtime friend, Sean Shelby will now take the full reins of matchmaking, steering the UFC into its new future. Joe Silva was a dynamic mysterious change-maker whose direction and vision will be sorely missed.