President, promoter, manager, producer and sometimes translator: these are just a few of the job titles that Ed Soares holds. He is one of the most recognizable faces in mixed martial arts and also has a show with hip hop mogul Jay Z coming out later this month.
He is the President of Resurrection Fighting Alliance, manager to many prominent fighters (former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo to name a few), film/television producer and even translator for his fighters from time to time.
Born to Brazilian parents in the Southern California city of Redondo Beach, Soares started his career as a nightclub promoter in Hollywood. In a city where celebrities thrive on exclusivity, Soares was successful at bringing in high end clientele to the nightlife.
Soares segued from clubs to managing fighters when he produced the MMA show Passing the Guard in 2004, which led him to co-founding Black House MMA in Los Angeles.
Even with a tight schedule at his Blackhouse gym in Los Angeles, he was still able to give some insight on RFA 12, Anderson Silva, and Mauricio Zingano when we spoke.
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Kano: What are you expecting between undefeated Brian Ortega, against UFC fighter Erik Koch’s brother Keoni Koch, who is also undefeated?
Soares: I’m not sure what will happen, I just think the main event between them will be great, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Kano: A good friend of mine, Kevin Casey is also on the main card, what are your thoughts on that versus Eddie Mendez?
Soares: You know, he’s taking on Eddie Mendez, a brawler, Kevin Casey is known for his ground game, but you know, I’ve heard he’s confident in his hands as well.
Kano: What other fight are you looking forward to?
Soares: Oh man, Pedro Munhoz is making his first title defense against Billy Daniels from Utah, a tough kid who is 7-0, fighting against Pedro who is 9-0, so that should be a good one.
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RFA — founded in 2011 — has an exclusive deal with AXS TV (billionaire Mark Cuban’s cable network channel) and has been a good source of talent for the UFC. Soares refers to RFA as a “minor league” for the UFC and many of RFA’s fighters have fought in the UFC or get signed by the promotion after putting together a win streak.
I talked to Soares about his thoughts on Silva returning from his leg break and the TMZ video with Silva saying that he will come back.
“I do think he’ll make a full recovery, and I do think he’ll be back,” he said. “I haven’t lost any belief in Anderson Silva, I still think he’s the greatest fighter of all time.”
He also gave props to the UFC middleweight champion saying, “Hats off to Chris Weidman, he beat Anderson Silva twice, something that no one else has done.”
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Switching gears, I wanted to get Soares’ thoughts on the suicide of Mauricio Zingano, and he said, “It’s just very sad, Mauricio was a great guy, he was dealing with some things that he thought he couldn’t deal with. It’s a shame.”
He said he had talked with Mauricio’s wife Cat Zingano every day since his death and will continue to be there for the family.
“I’ve been friends with Mauricio for over 20 years, he had the Blackhouse in Colorado. We trained Jiu-Jitsu together when he used to train here at the Gracie Academy under Royce and Rorion. Mauricio touched a lot of people.”
After everything Soares has accomplished, I asked him a final question — Did you think you would find this kind of success at this stage in your life?
Soares shrugged and said, “I don’t think about it. I don’t think about what I’ve accomplished, I just keep moving forward hoping to do more.”
David Kano is lead writer for MMA Show News and co-host of The Hollywood MMA Show. You can follow him on Twitter @TheDKano.
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