UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is a huge star on a worldly basis when it comes to MMA. However, Silva’s popularity in his native country of Brazil is even larger, according to manager Ed Soares.
Silva recently competed in Brazil, defeating Stephan Bonnar via TKO in the first round. “The Spider” has become one of – if not the top – fighter in the world.
“He’s bigger than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James (in Brazil),” said Soares, while appearing on The MMA Hour recently. “He’s bigger than that (in Brazil). It’s crazy. Every time I go there, I don’t think it can get any bigger – but he seems to get even bigger.”
Silva owns a UFC-best 15-fight win streak, including 14 finishes inside the Octagon. Soares, who works closely with Silva, has seen first-hand just what it’s like walking the streets of Brazil with him.
“Everywhere he goes, everybody’s like, ‘Hey champ, you’re the greatest. Can I get you this? Can I get you that?’ It’ll get anybody a little bit tripped out,” Silva said. “I think he’s kind of filling into the shoes that he’s become. He’s doing a great job with it.”