by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Manager Ed Soares has seen his client sit in the hot seat
for the second time in a row and he’s not happy about it.
The main event of UFC 97 has taken criticism from just about
every angle, and every possible cause of the fight’s lackluster outcome has been
considered. Speculation has varied from the plausible to the absurd.
Silva has taken the brunt of the attack.
“As far as I’m concerned, it does take two to tango, two to
engage, and I felt that Anderson did everything that he planned to do while he
was training,” Soares told MMAWeekly Radio on Monday. “He took the fight into
the later rounds and he was never in any danger. There’s not too many guys that
can go five rounds and not even get hit, or barely get hit. He didn’t have a
mark on him."
But it’s hard to imagine that the controversy would have
erupted if Silva had quickly destroyed Leites without a mark. Fan and media
anger seemed to be rooted in time.
While most fans have singled out the champion as responsible
the fight’s lack of action, Soares sees it the other way.
“I’ve watched the fight about five times since I got home,
and I can’t find anything wrong with the fight other than Thales didn’t engage
that much,” said Soares. “Anderson was constantly trying to attack and people
are upset because he didn’t go to Thales’ game. Well, the truth of the matter
is, he’s the challenger. He needs to come in there and try to take the belt.
Anderson went to the ground with him and he wasn’t able to pass his guard, and
he’d rather keep the fight standing up. I honestly don’t think there was
anything wrong with the fight.”
UFC president Dana White said he would meet with Soares and
Silva after the fight to discuss what happened, but according to a report from
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, the two were gone before he could speak with them.
During the post-fight Q & A, Silva said he’ll take some
time for himself in Brazil before he gets back to training.
“My issue is, why not finish him?" White told Iole.
"Where is the killer instinct? We haven’t seen that for a while. Why isn’t
he letting his hands and feet go? He got on the ground and was beating the
(expletive) out of Thales, but then he stood up and backed off and made it look
like Thales was doing something wrong.”
Regardless of White’s disapproval,
Soares will continue to defend the performance. The UFC president has a right
to his own opinion, he says.
“Not every fight is going to be a highlight reel finish,” he
continued. “Unfortunately the fans weren’t satisfied with that, but I believe Anderson
did a great job and I don’t think he has anything to hold his head down about.
"I think people need to start focusing on the positive
things and the media needs to be focusing on the positive things,” said Soares.
“At the end of the day, he broke a record. He has nine consecutive wins in the
UFC. I don’t think there’s a fighter out there who has nine wins in the UFC
with only one of them going to a decision. I think people need to focus more
on the positive and get away from the negative stuff."