It is probably safe to say that 34-year-old UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva is nearing the end of his career. Some have even suggested once he fulfills the four remaining fights on his UFC contract, he may walk away from professional competition.
Now more than ever it is important Anderson fight those opponents which will inspire him. He needs fighters who will push him and test him, and he needs fighters with a big name. Forrest Griffin fits the category perfectly and the two have signed to fight each other at UFC 101 on August 8th.
PRO MMA (promma.info) spoke with Anderson Silva’s manager and translator Ed Soares on Tuesday not only to confirm the match-up but to get their feeling on the fight, how it got put together, what the conversation with Dana White was like, Anderson’s future, and more.
PRO MMA: How did the fight between Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin get put together?
ED SOARES: The fight, you know, got put together by Dana White pretty much, you know. We were looking at fighting at a heavier weight and Dana basically proposed it to us. We thought about it and thought it would be great. Forrest Griffin is an incredible athlete. He is a complete fighter who comes to fight. So I think those are… and also he’s a huge name and you know he’s the former light heavyweight champion, so I just think it has all the ingredients of making something really interesting.
PRO MMA: Do you or Anderson have any issue with being the co-main event? Does that bother you at all?
ED SOARES: Not at all man. It’s not a champion… it’s a super fight and Kenny Florian and B.J. Penn are fighting for the belt. It’s an honor to be a co-main event when you’re not fighting for a belt, especially when there’s a belt on the line.
PRO MMA: In your honest opinion do you think Anderson will sign a new contract with the UFC once he fulfills this current contract?
ED SOARES: Man, I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. But as far as I’m concerned, I mean everything is good with the UFC, every thing’s cool, you know it just depends on how he feels, if he feels like he wants to keep fighting or not.
PRO MMA: Do you think he (Anderson Silva) will stay at 205 lbs., or does he want to go back and defend the middleweight belt?
ED SOARES: He wants to defend the 185-pound belt, that’s his belt. He wants to defend it of course.
PRO MMA: What was Dana White’s attitude and demeanor when you guys finally got to sit down and talk about UFC 97 and this fight with Griffin?
ED SOARES: His demeanor was great. We have a good relationship with Dana you know, he spoke his mind, we spoke our mind and that’s the good thing about a good relationship. You know, we have different opinions on certain things but we both see eye to eye and we understand his side and he understand ours. So, you know, it’s a business, sometimes… I look at it as a partnership and sometimes partnerships don’t always see eye to eye on things, but a successful business always has problems… not problems, but issues that come up and you know, you work through them.
PRO MMA: In your mind Ed, how do you think Anderson matches up with Forrest and how do you see that fight going?
ED SOARES: I see it being a great fight man. The only thing I can guarantee you is I know that Forrest brings it and so does Anderson. They are both guys that come well prepared and they are both guys who put it out there, so I mean, I don’t know how the fight’s gonna end. Hopefully the fight ends with them raising our hands, but however the fight ends, whether Anderson wins or loses, whatever happens I can tell you it’s going to be a spectacular fight.
PRO MMA: Considering some of the things Mr. White said about Anderson following UFC 97, are you or Anderson at all feeling any sort of pressure with trying to be more aggressive or anything like that, or does Anderson and yourself believe he is doing everything he has set out to do and everything is fine?
ED SOARES: We don’t feel any pressure. There’s no pressure on us man. We’re out there doing our job and doing it well done. People can say what they want you know, but at the end of the day, how many other fighters have fought and won nine consecutive times in the UFC?
PRO MMA: Thank you very much Ed for giving us this time. I wish you guys the best and wish Anderson the best and that’s it man, is there anything you would like to add?
ED SOARES: Nope, that’s it.
PRO MMA: OK, thanks a lot and you have a good day.
ED SOARES: You too, take care.
By: Jack Bratcher