Ed Soares, manager of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, was ready to answer the tough questions on Monday's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio)
In an initial recap we posted on Monday night, Soares discusses the fight itself, Silva's game plan and why he was disappointed more fans didn't appreciate the technical aspects of his unanimous-decision win.
In part two of the radio recap, Soares discusses allegations that Silva "greased" prior to the fight and that he didn't accurately translate Silva's post-fight comments.
In his UFC 97 live blog, an astute Josh Gross of SI.com noticed what many of us initially missed: Soon after Silva's face was coated with Vaseline (a standard procedure), he entered the cage, turned to his corner, and wiped his face and then his chest and arms (not a standard procedure).
In fact, it was just such a use of Vaseline that led UFC 94's main event between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn now being referred to as "Greasegate."
St. Pierre's dominant victory was overshadowed by his cornermen's actions, which the Nevada State Athletic Commission immediately noticed on fight night. St. Pierre was wiped down by NSAC officials between rounds of the fight, but Penn, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu stand-out, still maintains that his opponent was extra slippery and had "an unfair advantage" in the fight.
Whatever Silva did, Soares said he doubts it gave the fighter any sort of advantage in the fight.
"I didn't see it (the video) until [Sunday] night," Soares said. "What did it say on the Internet? 'Greasegate II?' But how much Vaseline can you get from your face to put all over your body? I think it's ridiculous. I didn't notice it. When I watched it [Sunday] night on the Internet, I was like, 'Yeah, he touched his body. He touched his face.'
"But I think that was just people trying to come (up) with something (to criticize), in my opinion. … How much is that going to change (the fight)? I think it's ridiculous, man."
While Silva has been a target of a criticism for the fight, Soares has also been under fire for supposedly botching a post-fight-interview translation with UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
Soon after the official scores were read (Silva won a unanimous decision via scores of 49-46, 48-47 and 50-46), Silva addressed the crowd in Portuguese. When Soares, Silva's longtime translator, provided the comments in English and said, "It's unfortunate that things sometimes turn out that way, but when you're not in here, it's hard to tell what going on sometimes. Sorry."
However, according to The Fight Network, Silva never did apologize and instead said, among other things, "Not everyone understands what they are watching. But hey, you guys can boo if you want to. You are paying my salary."
Soares told MMAjunkie.com Radio he does his best to provide word-for-word translations but that given some of Silva's long and drawn-out responses, that's not always possible.
However, he said he never intends to change the meaning of his client's comments.
"I paraphrase it down," Soares said. "There's a lot of things going on at that time. Sometimes when they have those long statements, I just try to take the key things that he's saying and translate it. I try to do the best that I can to try to translate everything that he says. But sometimes it just doesn't happen. And sometimes I don't translate exactly with what he says. I try to do the best that I can to get everything that he says in there.
He also said Silva did, in fact, apologize for the performance.
"He did say that," Soares said. "When I watch the fight again, basically what he said and like I said, he made a long statement he did say those things. He did say that. He said, 'I'm sorry I didn't make you happy. I know that you guys are the ones that are paying my salary.' That's what he said. But sometimes, like I said, I'm not a professional translator. I just try to do the best that I can. Sometimes those statements get long and I try to say the best, and I try to touch on the main points. Sometimes he says a lot of things, and it takes a while to translate it all."
Soares also takes offense to suggestions that he's intentionally manipulating translations to protect his client.
Some suggest that Soares will give a politically correct or positive translation regardless of what Silva actually says. Soares calls that hogwash and said people aren't taking into consideration that some things aren't easily translated between the two languages.
"That's just one more thing for me to be thinking about," Soares said about the possibility. "I try to translate what he says, always. Sometimes the way things are said in Portuguese, I try to have the same meaning in English. Sometimes it doesn't translate. There's certain phrases that just don't translate the same way. I don't know if I do that naturally or not. But I can tell you walking in there subconsciously, I'm not thinking about, 'Oh, if he says something wrong, I'm going to fix it.' I try to say what he's saying."
But, the entire thing could soon become a non-issue. Soares said Silva is quickly picking up English and already understands most of what he hears.
"His English is getting better," Soares said. "He understands a lot more. Most of the time, a lot of the questions I don't even have to translate. I translate a few of them just to reassure him."