by Brian Lopez-Benchimol – MMAWeekly.com
With a stable of solid fighters on his roster, Ed Soares has secured some of the top Brazilian talent of the sport today. With Anderson Silva, the Nogueira brothers, and Paulo Filho fitting the bill, it’s his young and upcoming that he believes will eventually be able to make a big impact in mixed martial arts and confidently so, becoming champions.
“One thing I feel very proud of with our agency is that I really do believe that every one of our guys has it in them to be a champion,” explained Soares.
Andre Galvao is one of those guys. Under contract with Strikeforce, the promotion’s CEO, Scott Coker, “loaned” the jiu-jitsu ace to participate in the Dream Welterweight Grand Prix. He has already dispatched of 10-year veteran John Alessio inside of the first round with an armbar. Though no opponent has been named yet for the second round of his quest to become the Grand Prix champion, Galvao should prove to be a serious threat, going for his fourth win in four tries a professional, all by way of the same submission, armbar.
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante is a hot prospect in the light heavyweight division. Previously having been apart of the International Fight League (IFL) and seemingly a top contender for the light heavyweight title in the now defunct EliteXC organization, he was set to make his Strikeforce debut on June 6 against former UFC contender Renato “Babalu” Sobral. However, MMAWeekly has learned that the bout has been scrapped due to family issues with Sobral. Feijao is still expected to make his debut on the June card with an as of yet named opponent. Beginning his career as a heavyweight, his lone loss has come via disqualification and he has an otherwise unblemished record of seven wins with one loss.
Possibly the biggest talk of the town when it comes to up and comers, Junior dos Santos has already made a name for himself in the heavyweight division in the UFC. Though most would argue that he can be a top contender immediately, it appears his manager may have other plans in store for the 25-year-old. “He’s a couple years away from being in that title contention. He’s only fought one time on the live pay-per-view. He’s only fought on the main card once (Fabricio Werdum, UFC 90). He’s only fought twice (in the UFC). I think that’s a conversation for down the line.”
Already making waves after his first-round knockout of perennial Top 10 fighter Fabricio Werdum and his 54 second annihilation of Stefan Struve, some speculate whether or not somewhere “down the line” if “Cigano” and “Minotauro” could ever possibly meet if the two remain on the winning end of they’re own respective fights? “The way (Junior) feels, (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira) is his master. I would believe that (Junior) will wait until (Antonio) is no longer (in the UFC) and then he’ll fight for the belt, because it’s kind of like asking to fight your dad.”