If people were expecting some dramatic backstory to why Junior Dos Santos and Ed Soares split up earlier this week, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. What were you expecting? Junior is the first guy to ever fire an assistant coach on TUF halfway through the season and the situation was still about as explosive as four hits of ambien. Here he is explaining the split:
“To be honest I really don’t know exactly what a manager does and I questioned this before making my decision… Of course he’ll sign contracts, help my career and plan my camps. But I don’t know exactly what’s his function… It’s not clear for me,” he added with a laugh.
“The manager has to be at your side all the time making sure you have everything you need. I’m not saying Joinha and Ed Soares didn’t do this but perhaps they didn’t satisfy our needs… I don’t think they failed me.
“Perhaps they could’ve give me a bit more attention… I want to be the top priority. I work hard and I always focus on my career. I want someone that’ll dedicate himself to my interests. My work demands that much attention.”
Fair enough. Ed Soares seems to manage half the population of Brazil and there’s a huge difference between having one of those guys as your manager and a person who’s only paycheck comes from what they’re making you. In fact, another unnamed source ‘close to Dos Santos’ said ‘making better money under a new arrangement’ was a big part of the switch. No word on if Junior’s thinking another manager will work harder or he’s just sick of paying the kind of percentage a manager like Ed Soares probably pulls.
Now back to Junior…
Dos Santos concluded, “Everything is still the same. Nothing has changed, except that Tough Media does not represent me anymore as managers.
“In fact, the UFC is such an organized company that they themselves are [practically] our own managers. Usually they already do anything they want in the US. The manager doesn’t have much of a say in UFC’s decisions…. Of course they help here and there but it’s very little.”
I remember a few years ago, managers were freaking out that the UFC was trying to slide in and weaken their position. Up until this point though, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a fighter straight up say “Yeah, managers are kinda obsolete, the UFC takes care of me.” That might be because it seems like a pretty foolish attitude to take. It should be interesting to see how that works out for Dos Santos in the long run.