Only a few months before his scheduled title fight against Cain Velasquez, UFC heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos has made a drastic change in his supporting cast, parting ways with longtime manager Ed Soares. JDS confirmed the development yesterday on Twitter, announcing that he’s now being represented by the Guedes Group.
In an interview with Tatame after the news broke, Soares says he was saddened by Dos Santos’s departure, but harbors no ill will against his former star client. Some highlights…
Dos Santos has announced you are no longer his manager. Is it true?
It’s all fine, he made his choice and it’ll be the best for his career. There was not much talking, that was it. He’s the captain of his own boat, we’re just there to help him guide it the right way. We’ve done a great job, bringing him to the place he is now in a little over two years, but it’s a matter of opinion. He wants to go a different way. If that’s how he feels, God bless him on his journey.
Did he tell you why?
To tell you the truth, he hasn’t said why. I asked him, but he wasn’t much specific. The only thing he told me was that the decision has been made. What am I supposed to say? If the guy wants to go another direction, who am I to tell him otherwise? I was his manager, not his father.
Were you surprised by his decision?
It wasn’t a complete surprise to me. To be pretty honest, for everything we see in the fighting world, it’s hard to get caught by surprise. It wasn’t an argument or anything like that. It was all ok. If the guy doesn’t want to work with us, how can I force him to do it? It won’t be a good relationship. The work we did together was successful…I’m sad, I’d be lying if I told you otherwise, but I don’t wish people bad things.
Where do you see your relationship with him going?
I remember knowing Junior before representing him. I met him in England, he was lost in the airport. He came and talked to me because he has seen me on the TV show “Passando a Guarda”. He was there because he went to help Crocota. I called him, we were going to the same hotel, and then we started being friends. Then, after I saw him fighting back in Brazil, I remember him as a “kid”, of 21, 22 years. He’s always been a super nice person, good, but when you start to grow old, start being successful, sometimes your way of seeing things changes a but, which is normal, and not in a bad way.
I’ll try to give you an example in Portuguese, that I don’t know if will express exactly what I want to say. I thought the glass was half full, but he thought it was half empty. None of us was lying. I still don’t know why it happened, but right now it doesn’t really matter. The choice was made, and I accepted it… we were a part of his life and I won’t forget it, and I hope he doesn’t either. Good luck, God blesses you. I don’t wish bad things for him, I want to see him being successful, because it’ll only confirm that what we first thought about Cigano was right. He wasn’t our first champion, and he won’t be the last. That’s life, so let’s move on. I’m sad, of course, but that’s the way it is, it’s not always happiness.