Sometimes, it seems like Ed Soares is nothing more than the voice of fighters embroiled in controversy.
He faced an angry press at the side of Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight king Anderson Silva in April, defending Silva’s performance at UFC 97 in a victory over Thales Leites.
He delivered light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida’s version of events on Saturday at UFC 104 to media that largely believed Machida was given a victory at UFC 104 that belonged to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Soares, though, is not only the interpreter for mixed martial arts superstars like Silva, Machida and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He’s also one of the industry’s most influential managers with a deep and talent-laden roster and an uncanny ability to make deals.
Whenever you have a portfolio that includes two of the four best fighters in the world, as Soares and partner Jorge Guimaraes do, you instantly command respect.
It’s been a long road for the 37-year-old native of Redondo Beach, Calif., who got his start in business as a ski instructor, nightclub promoter, hip-hop band manager and apparel salesman.
His parents are native Brazilians and, though he was born in Southern California, Soares spoke only Portuguese until he entered kindergarten. Fate, though, might have brought him into mixed martial arts long before he even realized it.
Soares’ mother, Sonia, babysat for Guimaraes’ daughter, Gabrielle, in Redondo Beach, so the two got to know each other and become friends. Soares said Guimaraes has “always been like a big brother to me.”
Guimaraes, a Brazil native, was a close friend of Rorion Gracie, who initially conceived the idea of the UFC as a way of proving the superiority of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu over other fighting forms.
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