"It looks like Anderson is going to be fighting in April or May and Lyoto will be rematching Shogun in May. They are both healing up really good. Lyoto's hand is feeling good. He's working out already; he's still not punching with it. The doctors told him to wait until the end of January to make sure that it's healed really good and to make sure that the hand is feeling good. So like I said, he's already working out. Anderson is training and his elbow is recovering well. We're expecting great things from them and great recoveries from their injuries. We're looking forward to the first 6 months of this year," stated MMA manager Ed Soares as he gave an update on a number of his fighters, including Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Nogueira. Check out what he had to say about their upcoming bouts and much more.
PC: How are you Ed?
ES: I'm doing good man. How are you doing?
PC: I can't complain. How is the New Year going for you guys so far?
ES: Everything is going great man. We started off on the right foot. We ended the year off well. The last fight of the year for me was Thales Leitas, who came back with the MFC and won there. And then we started this year off with a bang with the knockout of Gilbert Yvel from Junior Dos Santos.
PC: Do you think Dos Santos is ready for anyone or are you happy with the opponents they are giving him up to this point?
ES: I think Junior, as a fighter, is definitely a contender in the heavyweight division. He's young, he is only 25 years old, and I still feel that he can improve, like everyone thinks that they can improve, but we're in no hurry to rush him into a title shot. He's young and I think the UFC is doing a good job with picking the right fights for him. They are putting the right opponents in front of him. He's had 4 fights in the UFC and 3 of those were against some pretty big names: Werdum, Cro Cop and Yvel.
PC: That's news to me that you have Thales Leitas now. How did that come about and is the goal to get him back inside of the Octagon?
ES: Right now, it's just one step at a time. He's very happy to be in the MFC right now. It's every fighter's goal to get in the UFC, but MFC is a great organization that's going on in Canada and we're just taking it one step at a time. Hopefully he will be fighting for the belt in April and he will just take it one step at a time and see where it takes us.
PC: It seems like every time we speak, you guys add another fighter to the growing roster.
ES: We just did a deal with Andre out in Brazil to where we will be representing his fighters. The few guys that we just picked up are Thales Leitas, Jose Aldo, Wagnney Fabiano and we've got this kid Ronny Torres, so there are a few guys that we are going to start representing and we're building a good relationship with Andre.
PC: Have you ever entertained representing any boxers, since you guys are having so much success with the MMA fighters?
ES: You know, it's something...sure, I would be interested, but my niche right now is MMA and I don't know too many boxing promoters and I kind of don't want to step outside of my boundaries. My hands are full with the MMA guys that we have. We have about 18 guys right now and we have our hands full. I don't really see us getting over 20 guys in the near future. We may get one or two more guys, but for the most part, we have a pretty full roster. When you think about it, you have 20 guys and if each guy fights 3 times a year, that's 60 fights a year and that would be averaging a fight a week.
PC: I have never seen a manager with such a high success rate amongst his fighters. Is it a certain style or record you guys target? How is it that all of your guys have such amazing success?
ES: My partner George is very good at eyeing and recruiting fighters. I pretty much look at it as everybody does their job man; it's a team effort. We are a big team and of course our fighters performing inside of the ring or Octagon helps us do our job better as managers. It gives us more leverage to negotiate. And with the leverage it gives us to negotiate, sometimes we are able to get our fighters that aren't as well-known some better deals. I just think that the people that we have around us is like a family and that's kind of how I want to keep it. We're really close knit. We don't really go out and look for fighters. We never really go out after any fighters. We are very focused on the guys that we have. I feel that we have the best guys in the world and we just focus on our job and try to do the best that we can for our guys.
PC: I'm sure you were very pleased with the way Lil' Nogueira looked in his UFC debut?
ES: Ah man, it was well overdue; that guy Little Nogueira is a huge talent and has done so much for mixed martial arts and has achieved so much in boxing. It was just real nice to see him earn that opportunity on the big stage in the UFC and to also see him put on a performance like he did. I couldn't be happier.
PC: Both Anderson and Lyoto are coming off of injuries that required surgery. Are they both in full-fledged training and how are they doing?
ES: It looks like Anderson is going to be fighting in April or May and Lyoto will be rematching Shogun in May. They are both healing up really good. Lyoto's hand is feeling good. He's working out already; he's still not punching with it. The doctors told him to wait until the end of January to make sure that it's healed really good and to make sure that the hand is feeling good. So like I said, he's already working out. Anderson is training and his elbow is recovering well. We're expecting great things from them and great recoveries from their injuries. We're looking forward to the first 6 months of this year. We have a lot of big things happening and I'm excited to see how everything turns out.
PC: Big Nog also has a tough fight coming up against Cain Velasquez. He's battled through some staph. How is he doing and what are you expecting in that fight?
ES: Well, I know that Big Nog is training his ass off right now. As everyone saw, unfortunately when he lost to Frank Mir, and not taking anything away from Frank Mir, but Nogueira wasn't the Nogueira that he normally is because of the staph infection and all of the injuries. But he came back and he fought Randy Couture and put on the fight that he put on and we're just really excited that he's training hard and he's healthy. He's training with a lot of wrestlers, boxers and Jiu Jitsu guys and Cain Velasquez is a serious competitor. The guy is a beast and an animal. He's very strong, quick, and relentless and he doesn't stop. He's got a lot of gas. I think it's a great test. A lot of people have a lot of hype behind Cain Velasquez, but I believe in Nogueira and I believe in his boxing and Jiu Jitsu and I believe Nogueira could have a good night. We're hoping to beat Cain.
PC: As always, I appreciate your time. Good luck with all of your fighters that you have coming up. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
ES: Thanks for the interview and keep watching our guys.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]