Over the past few days two major UFC stars in Brazil, current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former light-heavyweight title holder Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua have taken the surprising step to split from their long-time managers.
First up Aldo’s coach Andre Pederneiras announced that Aldo, fresh off a spectacular title defense in Rio against Chad Mendes, would no longer be requiring Soares services.
“I’m his only manager now,” Pederneiras told TATAME. “We’ve sat down, talked and found it was the best way to go. Since things are happening in Brazil now, we thought it was the best call.”
The swift and unexpected nature of the decision caught Soares, best known for managing the career of UFC superstar Anderson Silva along with a host of other top Brazilian talent, by surprise.
“It was really strange the way it all went down,” Soares admitted to MMAfighting. “His coach sent us an e-mail and that was it.”
It’s not the first time this has happened to Soares. In fact just last year current UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos also abruptly cut loose from under his wing.
Soares is not the only manager who’s been left out in the cold recently however, as yesterday ‘Shogun’ Rua revealed that he was splitting from his right-hand man Eduardo Alonso.
In an interview with Sherdog.com ‘Shogun’ insists that the move was not down to a breakdown in his relationship with his former manager, but rather a difference in opinion as to how his career should be overseen.
“Eduardo is a very competent guy, but he doesn’t like this way of operating; he prefers one person taking care of everything. Not commanding everything, but overseeing everything. I don’t agree, [I prefer] each guy in his area. I like him, I know he likes me, but there was some conflict of ideas.”
I don’t think it’s merely coincidence that we’re seeing this much managerial upheaval in Brazil in such a short space of time.
The reality is that the sport of MMA is seeing unprecedented levels of growth in that region that the rest of the world can only dream of. From tens of millions of people in Brazil tuning in to watch them fight, to being mobbed by fans on the street and having the opportunity to sign lucrative product endorsements, Brazilian fighters are now operating in a completely different landscape in their own country than they were just 18 months ago before the current boom began.
With the kind of money that’s now up for grabs it’s perhaps not surprising that fighters are now reassessing their managerial situations. Whether their new arrangements work out better for them in the long-run remains to be seen, however.