The days are crazy man. I go from the media, to dealing with logos on shorts, to deal with getting tickets. You name it. People say, ‘What do we do as a manager?’ I say, ‘What don’t we do as a manager? – Ed Soares
It’s not always easy being the man behind the Man. Ari Gold put it best when he said, “You deal with talent the same way that you deal with women. You have to make them believe that they need you more then you need them.”
I’m not sure if that is the general philosophy for all sports managers or agents, but I believe there is some truth to Ari’s little nugget of wisdom. However, for manager extraordinaire Ed Soares, he seems to have found the magical formula for success in the MMA game.
Think about it, he manages around 20 very talented fighters, the top three being Jose Aldo (UFC featherweight champion), Lyoto Machida (former UFC light heavyweight champ) and of course “The Spider” himself, Anderson Silva (current UFC middleweight champ.) I wonder if there are days or a moment where Ed just stops for a second and says, “Holy sh#*! I manage some of the greatest fighters on the planet!” You would think there would be those private moments of self-patting on the back, but Soares doesn’t feel the need.
I really don’t think about it that way. People kind of tend to see the finished product and they don’t see the hard work that it takes to get where we are at. Sometimes I wish I could just sit back and say WOW, I’m the manager of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida, but I just don’t have the time to do that. I feel like instead of me sitting back and doing that, I could be using that time doing something better or trying to bring more opportunity to them. I just focus, keep my nose to the grindstone and just try to do the best job that I can for the guys.
I would imagine that putting one’s nose on a grindstone would probably hurt. Ed is not only the manager but he also acts as a translator for many of his fighters. That means he is not only the man behind the scenes but he is also, in some ways, the other face to the athlete, thus making him a prime target for someone like Chael Sonnen. The job of manager is not just fun and games. How do you say stressful in Portuguese? Estressante.
In the Anderson Silva documentary film “Like Water,” you get a good inside look of what Ed Soares job is like. You get to see first hand the pressure that comes with being on top. There is a scene in the film where we see Ed’s response to one of Chael Sonnen’s rants prior to UFC 117. There wasn’t anger or frustration, just a Chester cat smile. Ed just laughed it off as Chael being Chael, even when the “American Gangster” had Soares in his crosshairs.
I think Chael has a crush on me. I think that’s why he’s always talking about me. He wants to bring me into the argument. I think deep down inside, Chael likes me, Chael respects me because of things that I’ve done for him in the past. I really don’t think Chael is a bad guy, hopefully when this fight is all over we can put this stuff behind us. I like Chael as a person; he’s a good person. I just think he went beyond the limit. I think he’s gone beyond the boundaries; this is beyond being a fight. You don’t talk about people’s families and people’s friends like that. Those are fighting words.
If Sonnen has a mad crush on Ed than Chael is madly deeply in love with Anderson Silva. They were practically hugging each other at a UFC 148 press conference. It’s a beautiful thing. Emotions are running high and as we get closer to the fight we might even be able to find the Higgs boson particle of pre fight hype. Does anyone even know what that means yet?
What truly matters is it’s finally nice to see Anderson Silva show some emotion. On the UFC 148 media call Silva decided to put aside the one-word answers and spit out a few poison word darts directed towards Mr. Sonnen – something about broken limbs and missing teeth. That said those words weren’t just said to sell a fight, Soares believes it was just a very emotional Silva who truly does want to cause bodily harm to Mr. Sonnen.
I don’t think that Anderson came in saying those things because he wanted to sell the fights. I think what he basically did was wore his heart on his sleeve and basically said what he felt. The same thing he said to everyone on the media conference call was the same thing he said to me the next day when I called him and I was like “What the hell was that man?” and he said, “That’s just how I feel man! You know the game is over and I’m done playing games with this dude! I’m gonna make him eat all his words, along with his teeth.”
For Ed it’s about keeping Anderson happy, calm and focused. No easy task when everyone wants a piece of The Spider’s eight arms. With the heavy workload that comes with being a champion, Soares says that Silva still has a passion for the fight game.
Anderson loves this sport. Even when Anderson doesn’t have a fight planned, he’ll stay out of the gym for a week or two. Within two weeks, whether he’s training for a fight or not, he’ll go in there and hit bags and do some training. He loves this sport, it’s more than a sport, it’s more than a job, it’s a lifestyle for him.
This Saturday night in Las Vegas is UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, don’t plan anything. Get your popcorn ready because it’s going to be the biggest fight and UFC event of the year. It has all the makings of another classic. But please remember that when Silva makes his way to the Octagon there will be a guy walking behind him watching his back. Ed Soares truly believes that at the end of the night it will be Anderson Silva with his hand raised to the sky for all to see. It will be just another career defining moment.
I think Chael’s going to have a first in his life and that’s the first time he’s ever been knocked out.