Matt Bull: The hot topic in MMA right now is the reports that Chael Sonnen has tested positive for PED's for his pre-fight drug test one day prior to his fight with Anderson at UFC 117. How do you feel about that?
Ed Soares: "It's an unfortunate situation. It's unfortunate for Chael, for Anderson, the fans and its unfortunate for the sport. I think the rematch would have been a great fight. It's just a shame people won't be able to see it. Well, I don't know if they will be able to see it, but the way it is going right now it looks like it's not going to happen."
MB: Chael has been quoted saying that "Anderson got lucky" and "I was kicking his butt". What is your stance on those comments?
ES: "Making no excuses, but Anderson did go into the fight with an injury. Anderson did take a lot of shots, but they weren't doing a lot of damage. Chael looked more beat up than Anderson. People can say whatever they want that it was a lucky submission, but it happened the way it happened. Chael was in his most dominant position for 22 minutes of the fight and Anderson was in his most vulnerable for 22 minutes of the fight. I believe that if you have your opponent in their most vulnerable position for 22 minutes of a fight and can't finish the fight you deserve to lose."
MB: Do you think Sonnen deserved a rematch? Or would you have rather seen Anderson put the Sonnen situation behind him and fight say Belfort or Okami?
ES: "Well, the way I look at it is that there is part of me that thinks he doesn't deserve an immediate rematch for the reasons I just stated. He had him in a dominant position for 22 minutes and couldn't finish him and wound up getting submitted. When I look at it from that aspect i don't believe he deserved it, but when I sit back and look at the middleweight division and look at the performance Chael put on. At the end of the day he is still the number one contender, he did things to Anderson that no one has been able to do. I don't see anyone more deserving of a title shot right now than Chael."
MB: Yushin Okami has flown under the radar, some say because he doesn't put on exciting fights, but he has a win over Anderson via DQ. If he beats Vitor do you think he becomes the number one contender?
ES: "I think so. I think right now the way it looks the winner of Belfort and Okami deserves a title shot."
MB: You have another fight you represent fighting in the co-main event at this weekends UFC 119 and that's Rodrigo Nogueira. He will be facing Ryan Bader who is a very good wrestler. Who do you think has the advantage on the ground?
ES: "I feel that Rodrigo is better than Ryan from any aspect except wrestling. I think this is a very exciting fight Bader has shown he has some very heavy hands. I think he is a dangerous fighter. He is young and upcoming and fighting an experienced fighter in Rodrigo. I think this going to be a very good test for both fighters. I think it has all the main ingredients of a great co-main event. I think Nogueira is going to win, but its hard to tell. I can see him dropping Bader and finishing him on the ground, but with Bader being such a tough guy its really hard to tell."
MB: Rodrigo had such an explosive UFC debut against Luis Cane and then a lackluster appearance against Jason Brilz. What do you think was the cause in such a 180 of performances?
ES: "I think its a combination of a lot of things. These fighters are human and some days they just aren't feeling it. I think it was a good fight, I mean it won fight of the night so it had to be a good fight. I just don't think Rodrigo fought to the best of his potential. I think Brilz is a crafty tough guy, he was 18-2 so he is no slouch. I was surprised yeah."
MB: What is going on with "Big Nog"? Will we send him before the years end?
ES: "No I think those chances are slim, more like late spring early summer."
MB: How healthy was he for the first Mir fight?
ES: "They're were a lot of things wrong with him. he had a staph infection about 5 weeks before the fight and was in the hospital for 5 days. It was a real bad staph he needed antibiotics through a IV. One of his knees were in really bad shape, he had a pinched nerve in his neck. He was beat up and battered, but Nogueira is a warrior and never doubted he could win. i hate to say it because I don't want to take anything away from Frank, but if Nog went into that fight at 100% I do believe he would have won."
MB: Do you think Rampage is fighting an uphill battle with Machida being such an elusive striker?
ES: "After the Shogun loss Lyoto is definitely going to come back a better and stronger fighter. He said one of the coolest things I have ever heard a fighter say after a loss. He said he now feels like a complete fighter now. He knows what it feels like to win, he knows what it feels like to be a champion and now he knows what it feels like to lose. Rampage is a super tough guy, but I feel Lyoto is favored in this fight simply because of there styles. It will be a great one to watch."
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