EXCLUSIVE | Ed Soares, "Brazilians are leading the way in MMA"
Unless you lived under a rock or were in a coma then you have no excuse not to have seen Anderson Silva annihilate Chael Sonnen in the second round of their rematch.
After years of Sonnen claiming to be the “true middleweight champion” and taunting Silva The American Gangsta fired up the UFC Middleweight Champion and paid for it. Some of the things Sonnen said about Silva, his family, and his country were very pointed and sometimes off color. Silva’s manager Ed Soares is usually the relatively reserved guy on the sidelines, but for this fight even he was starting to get frustrated in the build up. So when Anderson drove his knee through Sonnen’s breastbone you would expect Soares to feel at least a little sense of justice. Like I said, he is one of the most relatively reserved people you will meet.
“I was just happy that he finished him and he didn’t get hurt”, said Soares. “I never want any fighter to get hurt especially my own. As long as he wins and walks out of the Octagon unhurt that is a good night”.
Immediately after the fight there were heated discussions on whether or not the knee Anderson Silva threw was legal because it landed high on Chael’s chest. Sonnen’s coach evened threatened to appeal the decision. Soares wasn’t surprised and didn’t really think it would come to fruition.
“Of course not”, Ed stated. “I even Tweeted about it. Someone said that Sonnen’s coach was going to do that and I said that instead of worrying about the appeal – he should be looking for the banana peel Chael slipped on when he tried to throw that spinning elbow. I saw Chael two nights after the fight and told him about the Tweet and he was basically like, “Aw man” and he laughed. Chael isn’t a bad guy. Like I said he crossed the line when promoting the fight. He crossed some lines that he shouldn’t have crossed. It’s over now and on to the next”.
The next could be Rich Franklin in the near future. Rich has faltered in two championship fights with Silva, but enough time has passed that his name is being tossed around as someone who is one or two fights away from standing across the cage from Anderson. Ed would not have an issue with that.
“Rich is, to me, definitely to me is a contender”, said Soares. “He has never lost at 185 pounds other than to Anderson Silva. Why wouldn’t he be considered. He went up to 205 and fought some bigger guys and he’s knocked out some bigger names. If the opportunity was to come up then I think it makes sense. I don’t really like to be a matchmaker, but I don’t mind of people ask my opinion. It’s something that does make sense, but at the end of the day it is who the UFC puts in front of us. I think Franklin is deserving of it.”
Title shots aren’t the only things a manager has to worry about. After a quick :33 submission win over Mike Kyle in his last fight, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante tested positive for the banned substance Stanzolol. He was fined $2500 and suspended for one year. Soares and Cavalcante appealed the decision very soon after his suspension was announced.
“I can’t say much, but I can tell you that we are very confident with our position”, said Soares.
Another fighter under Soares’s care is Lyoto Machida. Machida lost to Shogun Rua and lost his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the process. Shortly after that fight he lost a very close and controversial decision to Quinton Jackson. It is not the first thing on Ed’s list, but he did admit he would like to see Machida in the Octagon one more time with Rampage.
“I think Lyoto won the first fight”, Ed said. “I would love to see him erase that one. Rampage is going to be fighting Glover and so supposedly it’s Rampage’s last fight on his deal. So we’ll see what happens there”.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was supposed to make his comeback at UFC 149, but had to pull out due to injury. The cause of the withdrawal was a problem in training stemming from the broken arm he received from Frank Mir in his last fight. Ed is positive that Nogueira will return to the Octagon soon.
“Minotauro is doing good”, Ed stated. “It’s a nagging kind of injury. Once he tried to really step up the training his arm started to feel it a little bit more than he would like to. I would love to see him return by the fall, and who knows maybe even the Brazil card. He would like to fight on that card”.
The number of Brazilian UFC fans has increased largely due to the UFC venturing in to the Brazilian market more and more. There is an increasing number of fighters emerging from Brazil, and the number of knockouts by their hands. Soares sees this more as an evolution of the sport than the dominance of a particular country.
“It is pretty crazy over there in Brazil right now”, said Ed with a laugh. “I think that it’s MMA and nowadays guys have to be well rounded. They have to be versed in every discipline and I think that’s what’s happening. I don’t think it has anything to do with being Brazilian or anything like that. I think the whole level of the sport has gotten better and better. I do think, definitely the Brazilians are leading the way in MMA across the world”.
Black House is a legendary stable of fighters. Through the years it has produced legends and provided a place for fighters in need of a boost to their training a place to visit. According to Soares there are big things happening behind the scenes right now.
“We’re in the rebuilding stage right now”, stated Ed. “We’re building Black House. We’ve still got our big name fighters like Lyoto, Anderson, Minotauro, but right now we are definitely in the rebuilding stage and building up our new talent. We’ve got a lot of up and coming talent about to make a splash in the MMA scene right now. People are going to be pleasantly surprised I think”.
Follow Ed on Twitter: @edblackhouse