Silva Manager Calls Greasing Talk 'Ridiculous'

By Loretta Hunt Apr 20, 2009
Ed Soares, the manager of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, is denying Silva did anything wrong following an SI.com blog that said Silva wiped Vaseline from his face onto his body and arms as he entered the Octagon Saturday at UFC 97.

“I'm sorry to say this, but it was pretty obvious that Silva took his hands, wiped down his face and rubbed his chest and arms,” wrote SI.com’s Josh Gross in a live blog during the event. Numerous sites picked up on Gross’ observation, which was discussed on fan forums over the weekend and Monday.

Soares, who worked Silva’s corner and watched a replay of the event afterward, called the observation and its subsequent discussion “ridiculous.”

On the UFC 97 pay-per-view broadcast, the cameras show a cutman applying Vaseline to Silva’s eye area on the venue’s floor level before Silva ascends the steps into the Octagon. Silva then sashays around the cage’s inside perimeter. He appears to be wiping his face and then pats down his chest, stomach and arms as he turns to address his corner.

Soares said Silva was merely wiping off the lubricant, which is universally applied to all contestants to help prevent cuts.

“How much Vaseline can they put on someone’s eyebrows that’s going to make a difference?” Soares asked Sherdog.com on Monday. “Where’s he going to wipe it? If he wasn’t wiping it on his shorts, where would he wipe it? It wasn’t like he was rubbing it in. He just took it off. We didn’t put it on. It was [the cutman] that put it on.”

Soares added that Silva and opponent Thales Leites never reached a position where lubricant could have made a difference.

Silva earned a unanimous decision in the fight for a record-breaking ninth straight victory in the UFC. He controlled the pace and direction of the bout for much of the 25 minutes, though the feared striker picked his shots against a pensive Leites. Leites offered little offense of his own other than the occasional punch, kick or takedown attempt and often fell to his back to engage Silva on the mat.

Silva has received negative backlash for his tempered performance, including sober words from UFC President Dana White, who called the fight “disappointing.”

A frustrated Soares told Sherdog.com that the 34-year-old champion held to a specific strategy and achieved numerous goals in the bout.

“He did everything that people questioned he could do,” said Soares. “When it went to the ground, Thales Leites couldn’t pass his guard. The question if he could go five rounds? He went five rounds without breaking a sweat for 25 minutes. What else does the guy have to do? Is the only thing they want to see is knockouts? Then, put fighters against [Silva] that will stand and bang with him, not guys that will fall on their backs.”

Soares also questioned why the public has overlooked the larger ramifications of Silva’s victory.

“Nobody has ever done what he’s done,” said Soares. “Why aren’t people focusing on that?”

Though Soares said Silva hasn’t expressed a specific interest in fighting the UFC’s other pound-for-pound giant, Georges St. Pierre, Soares said the bout would be a welcome one for the camp. White stated on Saturday that he’d like to promote the mega fight in Toronto, where MMA is currently not sanctioned or regulated.

Asked whom he believed Silva, now 24-4, would like to be matched up against next, Soares answered, “his clone.”
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