Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, doesn’t dislike Chael
Sonnen. In fact, he thinks Sonnen is a good guy.
That doesn’t mean Soares approved of Sonnen’s comments leading up
to UFC 148, however.
“I’ve always thought Chael was a good guy,” Soares told the
Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I just thought that
he crossed the line. Chael is a good person. Chael, when the
cameras are off, he’s a good guy. He’s a solid guy. I like Chael. I
always have, but I’ll tell you, whether he was just hyping [the
fight] or not, there were times when he would start pissing me off
and I had nothing to do with it.”
Sonnen leveled remarks at Silva’s wife, his country and more. For
sure he helped build a huge amount of anticipation for the bout,
but Soares believes Sonnen took the personal attacks too far.
“To hear Chael talk about Anderson’s wife that way and talk about
Brazil … to talk about any nation and any other culture that way, I
don’t see the benefit for it,” Soares said. “I really don’t see the
benefit for it. I do think he crossed the line. I don’t think
Chael’s a bad person. I think Chael was just trying to do what he
could to try to promote the fight and make this fight as big as
possible, but I think that he did cross the line. I’ll say it now
and I’ve said it before: No one ever paid attention to Chael
Sonnen. No one ever paid attention to him. Unfortunately his
style of fighting’s not exciting to watch. The only time people
started paying attention to him was when he started talking about
Anderson. Once he struck that nerve and saw that it worked, I think
he just took it to another level.”
Sonnen’s comments seemed to strike a nerve with Silva. At the
weigh-ins, the champ hit the challenger with his shoulder during
their faceoff. Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director
Keith Kizer spoke with Silva’s camp about the incident, but
according to Soares, Silva will not be fined.
“Keith Kizer had a talk with us after the fight,” Soares said. “He
pulled us to the side and kind of talked to Anderson about what
happened. Everybody that knows Anderson knows that that was a
little bit out of character. Sometimes emotions get to people. I’m
not saying I 100-percent agree with what he did, but I mean, come
on, man. People can’t forget that the guy was talking about his
wife, talking about his country, talking about all that. At that
point in time it’s like two wrongs don’t make a right, but it
happens. It’s a fight.”
Of course Silva won the rematch, stopping Sonnen via strikes 1:55
into the second round. Afterward both fighters seemed more cordial
with each other. Silva even invited Sonnen to his home for a
barbecue, which didn’t surprise Soares as much as it reinforced his
view that Silva had moved past Sonnen’s challenge with class.
“I think [Silva] just wears his heart on his sleeve,” Soares said.
“It’s done with. He beat him up twice. He submitted him once. He
TKO’d him the second time. Now what else does Chael have to
Listen to the
full interview (beginning at 2:26:26).