When Jon Jones was announced to have signed a deal with Nike, the MMA sphere was turned on it's ear. The UFC finally had a champion repping the famous swoosh on a large scale. What flew under the radar, is that they already had a champion sporting the brand, in Anderson Silva. Despite the fact that his deal started out as a regional sponsorship, he was officially branded with the logo on his clothing for his last fight. Now, that regional deal has changed, and the UFC has two champions that have global deals with Nike. I recently spoke with Silva's manager, Ed Soares, who addressed the subject.
It started off as Nike Brazil, but it has since been made a global deal. I don't think there's another mixed martial arts athlete on the planet that deserves that more than Anderson. He's one of the best athletes out there that fits that mold, the face of Nike. Look at all the people they've sponsored. People have compared Anderson as the Michael Jordan of MMA. The best of the best have always had some sort of affiliation with Nike, and I think the brand fits Anderson better than any other MMA athlete in the world.
Ed also spoke to me a little about some of the other athletes at Blackhouse, and touched briefly on Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante's commission issues.
Rafael Feijao basically kind of got a little bit of the short end of the stick with this situation where they said that he tested positive, but as you can see, the California State Athletic Commission has obviously had issues with their testing. We believe 100% that Rafael is innocent, and we are staying focused on proving that innocence so he can get back in there, and fight for that Strikeforce title.
As of right now, we have to wait for CSAC to schedule a hearing for us. This happened back in May, so our next opportunity to be able to address this is gonna be in October. It's just a real shame that with everything going on with the commission, from their lack of funding or over-spending, to not following proper procedures on the testing. Everyone can see the holes in their process, and we saw that there were problems in the way that they did their testing before. It's kind of ironic that a few weeks ago, they said the testing they did for Strikeforce San Diego is invalid. If that one was invalid, what makes you think the ones from May 19th weren't invalid, too?
You can follow Ed via his Twitter account, @EdBlackHouse