Alex Davis is one of the most respected MMA managers in Brazil,
with several athletes in the UFC.
Under his aegis are fighters such as Antonio
Tavares and Geronimo
dos Santos. In a recent interview with Sherdog.com, Davis spoke
of his athletes, and moved between happiness with Silva, who will
fight for the UFC heavyweight title in May, and sadness with the
recent release of Vieira.
Sherdog.com: What do you think of the recent cuts from the
UFC roster? Do you think that many others will come?
Alex Davis: I knew this would happen. I’m a friend of Joe Silva’s,
and he doesn't like to cut fighters. He feels bad about it, but the
problem is with the math. He has to give each athlete at least
three fights per year, and there are too many athletes, so the guys
are fighting less. I disagree with some cuts, but they have to be
made. Strikeforce fighters came in, the women’s division came in,
and Dana [White, UFC president] wants to add lighter divisions
still. They already have 12 fights per event, and there’s a
Sherdog.com: You don’t agree with Vieira’s
Davis: He was fired unjustly. It’s the first time they’ve committed
this injustice, at least with one of my athletes, but Milton will
return. Everyone saw that Milton didn’t lose that fight [against
Sherdog.com: What do you think of Rousimar Palhares’ recent
split with Murilo
Bustamante and Brazilian Top Team?
Davis: I don’t usually get involved in these problems between
fighter and coach. It seems the two quarreled. I don’t know where
“Toquinho” will go. He just had knee surgery, so we’ll see.
Toquinho is an excellent athlete, but sometimes he’s not well with
the place. Let’s settle this later.
Sherdog.com: How is Geronimo “Mondragon” dos Santos? Can he
now be considered cured of hepatitis B?
Davis: Mondragon underwent very strong chemotherapy. I’ve done
this, too, and it’s very, very bad. He continues training and
undergoing chemotherapy. The first test he took showed that he was
cleared. If the next three suggest that he is cured, then he can
return to fighting. The doctor said that if the first test was
clear, the others will be, too. We’re confident.
Sherdog.com: Florida’s American Top Team is a great camp,
Kubis, Antonio Silva and now Pedro Rizzo.
Have you considered moving John
Lineker there, or Mondragon, or other athletes that train in
Davis: Look, ATT has always been my home. Whenever I can, I go
there. It’s a team unlike any other, such as the Blackzilians,
because they have Ricardo
Liborio and “Conan” [Marcus
Silveira] as coaches, who have shaped athletes for a long time,
for 10 years. Athletes get there and stay from start to finish.
Sherdog.com: Edson Barboza was tipped as a future UFC
lightweight title challenger before he was upset by Jamie
Varner. How is he after the defeat?
Davis: No athlete gets to the top just by winning; they always
suffer setbacks. I met with him recently and saw that he has
improved a lot. I believe that, in three or four fights, he’ll get
a title shot.
Sherdog.com: Are you managing Lombard? How so you view his
situation in the UFC
Davis: I’m not his manager, but I know he’s a great athlete who
hasn’t found his path yet. What worries me is that his salary is
high, but he’s lost two of his three fights. This salary issue is
worrisome. But, he deserves another chance in the UFC.
Sherdog.com: Do you agree with testosterone replacement
therapy, or TRT?
Davis: If you have a medical reason to do TRT, if you have low
testosterone, then I think it’s fair. But if you’re using TRT to
greatly increase testosterone during training season, and then drop
down to permissible levels, that’s not fair.
Sherdog.com: What do you think of the sudden success of
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva with the UFC audience?
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Davis: Silva had problems in the past with his suspension in
EliteXC, where he was the champion, and then had to have an
operation for his acromegaly. We used to joke that “this beach is
too far away,” because we never arrived at the “beach.” But, things
happen when they have to happen, and success did not come quickly,
which is good. It’s coming at the right time, in the right place.
Bigfoot knows how to handle success and has suffered a lot, and now
it’s time to get to the beach. Those who doubted Bigfoot have
learned that they can no longer doubt him.