It has been one week since Anderson Silva polarized MMA fans and pundits with his off-the-wall UFC 112 performance against Demian Maia and the MMA media is still littered with discussion about the fight. Everyone from analysts, fighters and UFC president Dana White have offered their opinion on Silva’s antics. While he has joined the media fracas already, Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, recently spoke with MMAJunkie.com to offer more insight into “The Spider'”s performance and how he is reacting to the criticism.
The biggest buzz in the Silva saga this week surrounds Dana White’s appearance on ESPN’s “Jim Rome Is Burning.” During the interview, White promised that, if Silva were to offer fight fans another performance like the one he displayed at UFC 112, that he would be cut from the organization regardless of his status as pound for pound great or middleweight champion. Perhaps in response to that, Soares made his own promise: that we will never see that side of “The Spider” again.
“Anderson will be back again,” Soares said. “For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think we’ll ever see a performance like that from Anderson Silva again.”
Only time will tell if that promise holds up but if it does not you can expect Silva to lose even more fans than he did with the comments he issued at the UFC 112 post-fight press conference. Much to Dana White’s chagrin, Silva told the press that he did not feel obligated to apologize to fans for his dodgy performance. Soares offers an inside look at what Silva was feeling after the fight that led to his off-putting remarks.
“After the fight, Anderson was a little bit bummed,” Soares said. “Then I think he got a little bit defensive at the press conference. I feel like he walked in to people just blasting him. It really wasn’t about them asking what was going wrong. It was more or less people already accusing him of doing something. I think that’s when he got a little bit insulted and got a little bit bitter. It was a little bit of a different vibe. I guess reporters are just doing their job, but I think that’s what got him a little stand-offish.”
Much has been made of a behind-closed-doors conversation that Dana White had with Silva and his manager after the press conference. Due to the comments Silva made, most expected White to tear into the Brazilian but Soares insists that it was not a heated discussion.
“Dana was totally cool in that conversation,” said Soares. “I’m sure people were thinking Dana was going to be flying off the handle. He wasn’t flying off the handle at all. He came in and talked to us, just a calm conversation. He told us what he was feeling. He told us his point of view. He told us his angle on it. It was totally cool. We told him some of the things we thought, and it was totally a constructive conversation.
“Dana told us how upset he was about the fight, what this means to him and what he’s got to do,” Soares went on. “He said all of that, but at the end of the day, he was actually really cool about it. He said what he had to say, but it was handled very professionally. I thought he took a great approach. He expressed his concerns and made Anderson understand what he was concerned about.”
One of the many theories that attempts to explain Silva’s behavior at UFC 112 is that he was angry with the UFC, either over a contract issue or unworthy opponent choice, and he sought to prove a point by embarrassing the promotion at one of the UFC’s most high-profile shows. Soares insists that that was not the case, that the performance was a result of Silva’s heightened emotional stress caused by Demian Maia’s pre-fight trash talk.
“It’s a totally good relationship,” said Soares, when asked of his client’s standing with the UFC. “Nobody is perfect. People make mistakes. That’s just how it is. It was never intentional whatsoever. We renegotiated Anderson’s contract. The contract is good. We have nothing to complain about. It was nothing like that. We’re partners with the UFC. That’s our home. We weren’t happy that they weren’t happy. That’s not what we’re trying to do. How could that be a positive thing?
“We’re not trying to prove any points,” Soares elaborated. “What really do we have to prove to them? They treat us well. They take care of us financially and in every way. Why wouldn’t we want to please them? There’s no point to be proven.”
Despite admitting that Silva’s performance was a poor one, Soares does not believe that his client should be so roundly vilified.
“That wasn’t the best performance, but Anderson is 11-0 in the UFC,” Soares said. “He’s got 11 consecutive wins, and only two fights have gone to decision. Eight of his 11 fights haven’t made it out of the second round. He had his sixth consecutive title defense and just broke a record. That doesn’t count for anything?”
Regardless of how you feel about Silva’s UFC 112 fight with Maia, it is now in the books. The best thing to do may be to look forward to his next outing, a fight against hard-nosed contender Chael Sonnen which will likely take place at UFC 117 this summer. To paraphrase Dana White’s assessment of the fight: Sonnen is not a man that will likely allow Silva the space to clown around in the cage. Hopefully that is the case and in his next Octagon appearance we see the logic-defying talent that Silva possess on full display.