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Ed Soares praises Cain Velasquez, blasts critics who say "Big Nog" is done

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Jride

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While manager Ed Soares is heartbroken that his friend and client Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) got knocked out at this past weekend's UFC 110, he has nothing but respect for Nogueira's opponent, Cain Velasquez (8-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC).

For fans and media who lit up message boards with posts about the former PRIDE heavyweight champion's apparent career end, Soares has no love.

"It's real easy to talk about people when you're sitting behind a computer with a bag over your face because nobody knows who you are," Soares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Tuesday as he fought a case of jet lag.

Velasquez turned in a huge upset in the UFC's sold-out Australian debut when he beat Nogueira to the punch in early standup exchanges. A little more than two minutes into the bout, Velasquez landed a concussive right hand that put Nogueira down and out.

UFC president Dana White said the Hispanic heavyweight is now on standby for a title shot against champion Brock Lesnar in the event that the winner of an interim heavyweight title match between Shane Carwin and Frank Mir is injured.

Soares, who manages a host of top Brazilian UFC fighters, said Nogueira was in the best shape of his life for the contest. "Big Nog" simply guessed wrong on Velasquez's game plan.

"Everyone in [Nogueira's] camp really believed that Cain was going to shoot and ground and pound from the guard," Soares said.

Soares offered none of the bluster that often comes from a losing fighter's camp in the wake of defeat and instead praised the young contender's skills and poise.

"It's a breath of fresh air to see a guy like Cain moving up the ranks," Soares said. "I see a lot of similarities in him and Nogueira as far as their work ethic and how humble they are. He's a great guy, and congratulations to him. He fought a great fight and came in with a great strategy.

While the loss was understandably disappointing for Nogueira, there was no hesitation from Soares about his fighter's next step.

"He gets back on the horse and fights some more people," Soares said. "It could happen to anybody."

Soares blasted those who said the loss meant Nogueira's career was essentially over.

"What are you talking about?" Soares asked. "Six months ago, Nogueira's back, and now he's done again?

"It's really easy to talk about these people when you're not the one putting your ass on the line and stepping into the octagon. Anybody that steps into the octagon, that can happen to."

Soares also had some harsh words for some of the critical fans who have said the loss shows Nogueira's career may now be over.

"These fans love the sport so much," Soares said. "Well, they should really analyze the things that they say, because at the end of the day, these guys are human, too. I read some of the stuff that people put on the Underground and forums, and people need to realize—whether it's Nogueira, whether it's one of our fighters or not one of our fighters—that these people are human too and they have feelings and it's not cool.

"It's easy for you to sit being your computer with a fake name and write stuff about people and say that 'he's done.' These people, for as much as they love the sport, they should be a little more compassionate about the people that go in there and put their ass on their line."

The focus should be on respect for both competitors, he said.

"Nogueira is a legend and Cain is a legend in the making," Soares said. "I'm upset that Nogueira lost, but to see Cain beat him and the respect that Cain gave him, you've gotta take your hat off to both of those guys."

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Post #1   2/23/10 7:25:11PM   

bigox420

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Post #2   2/23/10 11:49:09PM   

warglory

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Can't argue with that.

Post #3   2/24/10 7:52:53AM   

marcoDGK

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dang, I didn't know people were saying Big Nog was done!

I thought Valasquez would beat him but I didn't think it was going to mean the end of Big Nogs career. I think Nog will come back and have a few more great fights for sure.

Post #4   2/25/10 4:34:43PM