The last time we saw Anderson Silva’s manager Ed Soares, he was telling Inside MMA — with a straight face! — that Michael Bisping would be a good option for Silva’s next middleweight title defense. After all, it’s Soares’s job to help his client get big fights that the fans want to see. (His response when Bas Rutten suggested that Anderson fight UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones: “AhhhhhhIdunno.”)
So now that Bisping has fallen short in yet another “win this one and you get a title shot” match, Soares finally has to accept the reality that Chris Weidman is the most worthy contender to Silva’s crown, right? Right? RIGHT? Well, if you believe that, then you simply don’t know the enigma that is Ed Soares. He’s got another Plan B in mind, and it’s about as left-field as matchmaking gets. Here’s what he told CageFanatic in an interview last week, as transcribed by MMAMania:
“(Silva’s next fight) is still up in the air man, we don’t know who that is. Unfortunately Bisping lost which was a big thing but I’m not too sure. I’m not too sure who could be next…we want to fight someone who has a little bit of a name, someone that has as big of a name as possible and that’s on a winning record or a winning run right now. Right now it seems like most of the guys with names have had losses very recently. So, when I think about it, like the only thing that comes to mind and I don’t even know if that would be a possible fight is, you know, like Cung Le is coming off of three wins or something like that [Ed. note: Yeah, or something like that.] where he’s got a little bit of a name, but I mean it’s really hard in that division because it’s so evenly matched all the opponents on any given day one of those guys can beat each other, so you know, once again whoever the UFC decided we’re in…
Soares went on to reiterate the Silva camp’s old claim that Chris Weidman simply isn’t famous enough to fight Anderson Silva:
“I don’t think Anderson has anything to gain from that fight other than beating a super tough, unknown guy. He’s a phenomenal talent and no disrespect to his fighting abilities, but we would like to fight somebody with a little more recognition and maybe Weidman is maybe a fight or two away, you know what I mean? In hopefully building up that, you know, his following a little bit. What is there to gain from us to beat him? Really, I mean I ask you what is there for us to beat him? He’s going into that fight, most people, the general public are like ‘Oh Anderson is just fighting some guy named Weidman from New York, you know, he’s going to walk through him.’ So, if he doesn’t walk through him, there’s really nothing to gain other than another win and money in his pocket…Ask random people that watch the sport and ask them who Chris Weidman is and see what percentage will know who he is.”
To summarize: Cung Le is the best opponent for Anderson right now because hypothetically he would sell more pay-per-view buys than Chris Weidman, even though, come on, are you fucking serious Ed? You can’t even use the “nobody else asked for it” defense for this one, because Weidman wants this fight badly, and he’ll be ready to go by this spring. Luckily, Dana White has stepped in as the voice of reason:
“This is typical Anderson Silva-Ed Soares craziness. Every (expletive) time there’s a fight. He wants to fight (Demetrious) ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson, then he wants to (expletive) fight this guy and that guy. This is always the same deal, it always happens. ‘I absolutely will not fight Chael Sonnen, he doesn’t deserve the title and I’m not doing this and I’m not doing that.’ This is what we do. We’re waiting on something, we’ll see if this pans out. When we’re ready to announce it, we’ll announce it. He will defend his title; it won’t be a super fight.”
It’s good to know that we’re not the only ones growing weary of Soares’s fun little “suggestions” for who Anderson Silva should beat the crap out of next. But not only are Soares and Jorge Guimaraes‘s public matchmaking attempts frustrating to those of us who want to see the best fight the best — removed from all financial motivations — they also do a disservice to Anderson Silva. When Silva’s managers constantly argue that Chris Weidman isn’t worthy of a title shot, many fans come to the same conclusion: That Silva is scared of Weidman, and is ducking him as a result. It might not be accurate, but it’s public perception nonetheless, and you can blame Soares and Guimaraes for that.
The problem with an MMA manager speaking on behalf of his client is that it’s inevitable that his own agenda will be incorporated into the message. And at times, Ed Soares has blatantly misrepresented Silva. But since Soares is the one speaking to the media most of the time, his message is the one that dominates. So here’s our decree: Anderson Silva’s managers should do all their dealings behind-the-scenes and off-camera, from now on. When Anderson wants to express something to the media, he should do it personally, through an interpreter, if necessary — one who will actually translate what he’s saying. Everything else is just noise.