Who is Sean Shelby and what work does he do in the UFC?

Sean Shelby, Jon Anik, and Joe Silva (image courtesy - YouTube)
Sean Shelby, Jon Anik, and Joe Silva (image courtesy - YouTube)

Sean Shelby is the Senior Vice President of Talent Relations in the UFC and also works as a matchmaker for the promotion. Shelby has been tasked with overseeing matchmaking for six separate weight classes in the UFC.

Shelby currently plays the role of a matchmaker for the women's strawweight and bantamweight divisions, as well as the men's bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions.

Sean Shelby was promoted to Senior Vice President of Talent Relations back in 2016 when the current owners of the promotion - WME-IMG - were in the process of restructuring the entire company.

Former Legacy, FC owner, and president Mick Maynard was also brought in by the promotion as Vice President of Talent Relations to help Shelby take care of the added workload. Maynard is in charge of the men's flyweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight divisions.

Sean Shelby's awkward trysts with UFC stars over the years

Conor McGregor's head coach Jon Kavanagh recently revealed that in 2012, Sean Shelby rejected the Irishman's first attempt to sign with the UFC. However, when McGregor became a double champ at Cage Warriors in 2013, the hype surrounding him was just too big for even Dana White to ignore.

"At the moment, the featherweight division is terribly impacted from so many UFC lightweights moving down in weight. So I'm not looking to sign anyone else for a while, but hopefully, it will clear up soon and guys like Conor will get the opportunity," Sean Shelby wrote in the email.

This year, Sean Shelby was once again in the news when UFC lightweight Beneil Dariush lashed out at him for not booking him against a top-ranked opponent in the 155lbs division.

However, Dariush later clarified his comments and apologized to Sean Shelby. He said his comments were targeted at top-ranked fighters who are 'avoiding' him and not the matchmaker himself.

“I didn’t elaborate properly. My issue is with these guys looking at me as high risk, low reward. These top-10 guys look at me like I’m high risk, low reward and they want nothing to do with me. That’s just a little bit disappointing. I appreciate Sean Shelby. He’s called me every time and he’s talked to me and he’s explained his situation. I was a little off about that, so I have to say sorry to Sean. Sorry, Sean,” Dariush said (via MMAjunkie.com).

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Edited by Zaid Khan
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