Junior dos Santos, the #1 contender in the UFC's heavyweight division, announced on Twitter that he had parted ways with manager Ed Soares. Dos Santos, who was last seen in the Octagon crushing Shane Carwin at UFC 131, earned the first crack at champion Cain Velasquez who will be making his first title defense in the fall.
I am officially under new representation! All sponsorship or press requests, please contact @GuedesGroup she'll get you to me. Thanks guys
Velasquez has been on the shelf since taking the title from Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 due to surgery and rehab for a 90% tear in his right rotator cuff. Dos Santos is expected to get his title shot in November at UFC 138.
Dos Santos spoke to Brazil's R7 Esportes (translated by Tom Mendes):
How was the process of ending ties with your managers?
JDS: It's not a big deal. It's like, everyone has their objectives and they helped me a lot in my career. It was them that put me in the UFC, they were very honest and good with me, but we keep evolving and I thought that I could be more audacious in a few things that were not agreeable from both parties. So I decided to seek out (something new).
Do you plan to stay without representation?
JDS: it's not that I'll stay without representation, but for now, I have a lawyer in the US that has been taking care of my things for me for a while now. We contacted the UFC and let them know the details. For now I'm with her, and as soon as everything gets organized I'll figure this manager thing out.
What is the function of a manager for you right now, close to the UFC belt?
JDS: To be honest, I don't know what the function of a manager is, and this is something I was questioning. For sure it's to close contracts, help my career and even plan my trainings. But I don't know exactly the function, it was not clear to me (laughs).
I'd imagine that managers close contracts with professionals to help out in the training of the athletes, correct?
JDS: I think like that too. A manager has to be at your side at all times trying to meet your necessities. It's not that Guimaraes and Soares haven't done that, but perhaps it wasn't in a satisfactory manner for us.
Do you think there were any flaws from them as managers?
JDS: I don't think there was a flaw, but perhaps a lack of attention. Something I want is to be a priority. I work hard and always have my career as focus. I want someone that will dedicate themselves more towards my interests. Our work requires that.
To let your fans at ease, aside of the representation part, everything continues to be normal?
JDS: Everything continues to be normal. Nothing has changed, the only thing that changed is that Top Media no longer represents me. To be honest, the UFC is such a well organized company that they themselves are managers of athletes. Normally, they follow through and let you know what they expect from an athlete. The manager, in this case, has a very small participation in the process. Of course there is some participation, but it's small for sure.
For his part Soares talked to Tatame:
Did he tell you why?
Soares: To tell you the truth, he hasn't said why. I asked him, but he wasn't much specific. The only thing he told me was that the decision ahs been made. What am I supposed to say? If the guy wants to go another direction, who am I to tell him otherwise? I was his manager, not his father.
Were you upset?
Soares: Of course I'm a little sad about his decision... We worked together and did a great job. He was feeling like it was the beginning, so that's life. It's not the first time it happens on the fighting business and neither will be the last. He'll follow his way and we'll follow yours. I'm upset, Joinha is upset... I don't know if he is, but he was the one who made the call. Now it's up to us to move on.
Were you surprised by his decision?
Soares: It wasn't a complete surprise to me. To be pretty honest, for everything we see on the fighting world, it's hard to get caught by surprise. It wasn't an argument or anything like that. It was all ok. If the guy doesn't want to work with us, how can I force him to do it? It won't be a good relationship. The work we did together was successful. We did was we were supposed to do, he did his job on the octagon, and it took us to gather a great team to help him to get there. Let's see what happens now. I hope it all works out just fine for him. I'm sad, I'd be lying if I told you otherwise, but I don't wish people bad things.
Dos Santos' new representative is Ana Claudia Guedes.