by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The verbal battery that Chael Sonnen has hurled at Anderson Silva has almost become something of folklore in MMA recently. The Team Quest fighter has taken shot after shot at Silva, and he’s going to have the chance to back up all those words at UFC 117 in August when he squares off with the champion in Oakland.
What many people wonder is if Sonnen is seriously that irritated with Anderson Silva?
Ed Soares, Silva’s manager, who has also come under scrutiny from Sonnen, believes there is a method behind the madness.
“No, I think it’s funny what he’s saying. He’s a true politician,” Soares joked when speaking with MMAWeekly Radio about Sonnen. “Chael’s always been a super nice guy to me, but I think he does have a bit of arrogance about him. I don’t ever really see it first hand, but he does have an arrogance about him, maybe that’s what he had to talk himself into to really believe he’s going to win this fight is by believing some of the things he’s saying.”
Sonnen has unleashed on Silva in virtually every interview and public appearance he’s made over the last several months. Soares says it doesn’t matter much what Sonnen tells himself, because ultimately he’s got to back it up in the Octagon.
“He can believe it all he wants, but we’ll see. A lot of people have talked (expletive) about Anderson Silva. A lot of people said what they’re going to do to Anderson Silva when they get in the Octagon. For some reason it’s a different story when the Octagon door closes and they’re standing across from him,” Soares stated.
“Chael says he’s going to move forward, he’s going to put him on his back. What did he say? He’s going to put him on his back more than a porn star with a mortgage? So let’s see.”
The UFC’s reigning and defending middleweight champion has never been much into the trash talk leading into a fight, and it’s no different this time around. He’s not listening to a lot of what Sonnen has to say about him.
“I tell him things once in a while when other people bring it up, but I don’t even tell him. It’s nonsense, a lot of it,” said Soares. “If he thinks that, he’s nuts. He doesn’t need to hear that kind of stuff to motivate him to fight. He’s going to go in there and do his job.”
One altercation that did get Soares a little hot under the collar was when the two came face to face at the UFC Fan Expo in May.
“I was walking back to the hotel and Anderson was signing autographs for I don’t know, there was maybe 15, 20 kids around and their parents, and there’s a crowd around him,” Soares explained. “Chael walked by completely by himself with his manager, and he says ‘go ahead, sign all those things because in a couple months nobody’s going to want your signature. Nobody’s going to want that.’
“When he said that, it’s in front of kids, it’s the first time that it kind of pissed me off.”
It took only that much for Soares to finally fire back at Sonnen, and verbally joust the former Oregon political hopeful.
“So we’re walking down the hallway there and I just started laying into him and I go ‘man look at that crowd around Chael Sonnen; you got to have some security!’ because no one was around him,” Soares said. “He was just walking by himself. I’m like ‘man look at those fans going crazy for Chael’ and I could tell he got a little irritated, didn’t say anything.”
Soares believes that all the talk, and all the hype leading into this fight were carefully calculated moves on Sonnen’s part.
“No one paid attention to Chael Sonnen,” said Soares. “Before he started talking about Anderson Silva, have you ever heard of his name in the headlines? No. So this is the only thing that’s getting him publicity. Congratulations, he found something that’s going to get him some attention.”
“I guess we’ll see on Aug. 7, that’s what’s going to be great.”
The chatter leading into this fight has everyone involved, including the managers for both fighters. When contacted by MMAWeekly.com in response to recent comments, Sonnen’s manager Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. says it’s up to Chael and Anderson to settle it all in the Octagon.
“At the end of the day, none of the talk matters,” said Roberts. “Ed Soares can say what he wants to say, it’s all going to come down to Chael and Anderson getting in there and fighting.”
The epic middleweight showdown happens on August 7 at UFC 117.