Manager Ed Soares Still Unsure Why Junior Dos Santos Left Him

August 30, 2011
14 Comments

Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131

In the management game in MMA, it’s not all that unusual for a fighter to split with one person and find representation with a different manager.

Business changes, new people enter the industry, and the world keeps turning.

It is unusual however when certain managers lose a client, if only because of their track record of loyalty within their ranks. That’s one reason why when news broke that Junior Dos Santos had parted ways from his managers Ed Soares and Jorge Guimaraes, it was considered a pretty big deal.

Soares and his partner Guimaraes have managed several fighters over the years and continue to work with top talent like Anderson Silva and the Nogueira brothers. Their history shows a fierce loyalty to their fighters and that loyalty is typically reciprocated.

It was a shock to everyone, including Soares, that Dos Santos opted to leave the management team and venture out on his own.

“We’re his managers; we’re not his Dad. I still to this day don’t know really why we’re not working with him anymore. He never really gave us any reasons. Money and fame changes people, and sometimes that happens. He’s got his reasons,” Soares told MMAWeekly Radio.

“I almost think that’s a better question for you sometime to ask him, because I still really don’t know what happened other than we’re not representing him any more.”

Dos Santos entered the UFC in 2008 and has been undefeated ever since. It was Soares and Guimaraes that brokered the deal to get him in the UFC again after he was signed to the promotion a year earlier by a different manager before that deal went south.

“I don’t think we could have done a better job with Junior Dos Santos than what was done. Nobody knew who he was two-and-a-half years ago, we pretty much got him in the UFC. Because at first the UFC didn’t want to sign him because he signed with the UFC through another guy, so he had a deal to fight in the UFC and then he went and fought in Brazil and lost. The UFC was really bummed out and basically said ‘no, we’re not going to sign this guy. He screwed us. He signed with us then went to another event and lost,'” Soares explained.

“So we got him back a win and we convinced them let’s get this kid back in. He made a mistake, he was young, he really didn’t understand the whole deal.”

What resulted was a win over Fabricio Werdum in his debut fight and from that moment on Dos Santos has been on a tear through the UFC heavyweight division. It all culminates in November at UFC 139 when he faces Cain Velasquez with the UFC heavyweight title on the line.

“We put him in a good fight in the beginning, believed he could beat Fabricio Werdum. He went in there and did that and (we) basically guided his career and fast tracked him to where he is today,” said Soares. “Look at where he’s at. He was on The Ultimate Fighter, which gave him a lot of popularity, and it is what it is.”

While there still appears to be some confusion as to why they aren’t working together, Soares holds no ill will toward Dos Santos… he just isn’t sure what happened.


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  • Jmoney

    Ed sares is a real asshole….certain shit you should just keep quiet about…if he has a question for dos santos…ask him!
    Dont go have an interview asking them to ask him..trying to make it a public scene pretending to be a victim in the situation

    • http://MMAWeekly.com Ken Pishna

      In fairness to Ed Soares, our interviewer, radio host Damon Martin, asked him about the Junior dos Santos situation and Ed just responded with what you read above. Ed didn’t broach the subject, and certainly didn’t slam JDS.

      • wonggfan

        @Ken

        No need to even reply. We understand what’s going on. Ed didn’t say anything scathing. He was being professional here.

        Just imagine what Dana would have said if he were Junior’s manager. And compare that with what Ed has said here.

        Ed just lost one of his best guys. I hope JDS goes on to win championships, quit the UFC, form his own management company J-1 Global, and milk the shit out of MMA by asking for joint venture deals with One FC and other smaller organizations.

      • Unador

        In fairness to your interviewer, it is his job to ask such questions.

        But Soares did Slam JDS.
        We’re his managers; we’re not his Dad. <— slam
        “I almost think that’s a better question for you sometime to ask him, because I still really don’t know what happened other than we’re not representing him any more.”<—– playing the victim, and putting JDS on the spot PUBLICALLy for what is a PRIVATE decision. It is business between himself and JDS. It has nothing to do with the media, and does not belong in a public setting.
        “I don’t think we could have done a better job with Junior Dos Santos than what was done. Nobody knew who he was two-and-a-half years ago, we pretty much got him in the UFC. Because at first the UFC didn’t want to sign him because he signed with the UFC through another guy, so he had a deal to fight in the UFC and then he went and fought in Brazil and lost. The UFC was really bummed out and basically said ‘no, we’re not going to sign this guy. He screwed us. He signed with us then went to another event and lost,’” Soares explained.

        “So we got him back a win and we convinced them let’s get this kid back in. He made a mistake, he was young, he really didn’t understand the whole deal.”

        What resulted was a win over Fabricio Werdum in his debut fight and from that moment on Dos Santos has been on a tear through the UFC heavyweight division. It all culminates in November at UFC 139 when he faces Cain Velasquez with the UFC heavyweight title on the line.<— this is patting himself on the back while subtleing insulting JDS and insunuating that everything that JDS is Soares is responsible for. As if without Soares, JDS would be nothing. Reminds me of Ike Turner!

        If Soares was being a gentleman his response would have been respectful, such as "…. all I can say is that we are no longer representing JDS, and it is a decision JDS made. We did the best we could for him, and feel that we certainly didn't hurt his career any. I hope he continues to rack up wins in the UFC and I would enjoy seeing him attain the belt"
        Interviewer…. " but did he give a reason? "
        SOares should have said , " I am not at liberty to disclose that kind of information about fighters we've managed, He may end up back here under our banner sometime in the future. You will have to ask him directly for that information."

        Now that's what he should have said. Reporters are going to ask JDS anyway so no harm there. And it wasn't set up with, ' you don't you ask him and we'll both know'. That's harmful.

        I don't know if Soares intentioanally slamed JDS with subtle undertones of politeness, or if it was an inadvertent slight through an honest lack of good PR skills.

        Either way. HE WAS WAY OUT OF LINE.

    • wonggfan

      Jmoney = Junior Money???

      Is that you Junior? Lol!

    • Unador

      exactly

  • wonggfan

    Ed Soares is being a gentleman here. He didn’t say anything scathing about Junior except his original troubles with the UFC.

    If Junior were managed by Dana, imagine what Dana would have said/done.

    • Unador

      Um, Dana would have said the exact same thing. Except there would be no room for it to be miscontsrued as unintentional.

  • afk

    JDS learned how to speak english and realized how much better they were paying their other fighters lol.

    I consider him to be the second best out of the Black House currently, behind Silva, of course and he deserves the best he can get according to him.

  • aaronlol

    So Junior is still at Black House but just not under Soares anymore? Kinda sucks and is weird to see but I hope he stays at Black House.

  • justindv33

    Who cares, really? I could care less who manages who. I just like to see good fights put on. This is just a publicity plea from Ed Soares. Whoever thinks this was not a slam on JDS has a screw loose. “Money and fame changes people”, or “Nobody knew who he was two-and-a-half years ago, we pretty much got him in the UFC” or “Nobody knew who he was two-and-a-half years ago”. As good as a fighter as he is, I am sure he did not need Ed Soares to put him in the UFC. He would have found his way there eventually.

  • Jmoney

    at justindv33 …. feel the same way!

    who gives a shit about soares… but in the interview he is talkin shit about JDS in a really nice manner. either way who cares what soares thinks

  • SethBSU

    Make sense he’s still in Blackhouse since I was pretty sure I saw him in Silva or Nog’s corner. Anyone notice?

    • Unador

      Yeah, I saw JDS in Nog’s corner as well. So, must be on good terms.