Way back in June of 2006 the hosts of Sherdog.com’s popular ‘Beatdown’ radio show at the time, TJ DeSantis and Josh Gross patched in Brazilian star Vitor Belfort for a phone interview prior to his fight with Alistair Overeem at Strikeforce: Revenge.
It quickly became apparent that whoever was on the phone, sounding hesitant and sporting a hugely unconvincing Brazilian accent, wasn’t the former UFC heavyweight champion.
“I know Vitor very well, you don’t sound like Vitor,” Gross said half-way through the conversation, leaving the caller on the other end of the phone lost for words before finally being cut.
So if it wasn’t Belfort on the phone, who the hell was it? For years the mystery went unsolved.
On Friday’s edition of Beatdown, some four and a half years later, the penny finally dropped for TJ while reminiscing about the interview with Jeff Sherwood.
“I’m pretty sure it was Ed Soares,” DeSantis suddenly stated. “I mean that’s who’s voice it sounded like, but back then I didn’t know who Ed Soares was.”
Digging back into the archives DeSantis then found the clip of the interview and playing it back live on air it did indeed sound suspiciously like the manager for many of Brazil’s top fighters like Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and Jose Aldo.
There was only one way to find out for sure, so they decided to go straight to the source.
“Oh man, I know exactly what your talking about,” Soares chuckled after the hosts phoned him up on air and started to quiz him about the interview. “Does he have a Hispanic accent like Chael Sonnen’s did?” he quipped to laughter all around.
“Listen, let me tell you something…that was me,” Soares confessed sheepishly. “I cannot tell a lie. I’ll cut down the apple tree. You want me to tell you what happened? I got thrown into that sh*t! Here’s what happened.
“I basically show up in San Jose. My partner at the time, he’s still my business partner, George, he was managing Vitor. We show up at a restaurant and I show up there late, and I don’t know what the hell’s going on. I sit down at the table and they said, ‘Here! Talk, Talk! Pretend like your Vitor.’ I didn’t know who it was, I didn’t know anything. I just sat down and they said, ‘act like Vitor.’
I said, ‘what do you mean act like Vitor!’ ‘Vitor doesn’t want to do an interview, just answer the questions for him.’ I said, ‘Dude, he has an accent.’ They said, ‘make something up, they’re not going to know the difference.’
Unfortunately for Soares the interviewers knew exactly what Vitor sounds like. Four years later the secret has finally been revealed and they could all look back and laugh at one of the most bizarre moments in the history of the long-running show.
“How about if we have this little agreement here from now on Ed – Anytime we can’t get a hold of somebody, we’ll just call you,” Sherwood joked.
“Call me. Call me! Call me or Chael,” Soares said to more laughter.
Ironically Soares is going to be talking a lot more about Belfort in the coming months since he is set to face his client Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 126 on February 5h, 2011.
Listen to the full show here. The original interview with “Vitor” is played in the first half of the show. The new Soares interview comes at around 86.45mins.