Story by Eduardo Ferreira
Photo by UFC
The UFC negotiations to transfer the rematch Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen to the United States wereclosely watched by Jorge Guimaraes, known as “Joinha”, the middleweight champion’s manager.
On an interview with TATAME, Joinha affirmed that the organization did their best efforts to keep it in Brazil, talked about how the Americans see Sonnen and the possibility of Lyoto Machida, also managed by him, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua being the next coaches of The Ultimate Fighter.
How was this negotiation to replace the fight?
I had a meeting with Ed Soares, Dana and Lorenzo (Fertitta) a couple of weeks ago and it was a sure thing it would happen at Engenhao. They were apprehensive wondering if it would be crowded. Big investments… Everything was fine, everybody was excited about it happening in Rio. We were caught by surprise too, they had to logistic problems. It’s not happening in Rio de Janeiro, but it’s happening in Las Vegas, which is the biggest fighting place in the planet.
What was Anderson’s reaction towards this transfer?
Obviously Anderson wanted to teach Chael a lesson in front of Brazilian fans. He told me: “I owe it to them. This guy disrespected me, disrespected my wife, my family, my people and my country. I wanna teach him a lesson in front of the Brazilian people”. Since it’s no longer possible, he’s doing it in Las Vegas, at Sonnen’s house, on the 4th of the July week.
You live on the United States. How Americans see Sonnen?
Chael Sonnen is a guy who came from the shadows using that marketing thing. He was unknown and then started talking about everyone, he’s talked about Lance Armstrong. He’s a bully, but got the promotion he needed. He’s not a complete MMA fighter. In matters of resources, Anderson has plenty more resources than him. As Dana White said, this sport has transpassed all limits and there’s no such thing, this kind of feeling. Here in Brazil we have that Latin blood, there’s this fanaticism, but on the United States they really admire Anderson as the best MMA fighter ever and I guarantee you 80 percent of the fans will be rooting for Anderson Silva.
You’re also Lyoto’s manager and many people want him fighting Shogun again. Jose Aldo is confirmed on Brazil’s card. Do you think about matching them up?
No. Not for Brazil’s card. Everything is possible, but it’s already being built. I guess Lyoto will fight soon. I can tell you about Shogun, but Shogun is on a great place now and I’m sure that the two of them, as mentioned by Dana, would be great coaches at TUF, but I believe they will fight before that.