The star of Anderson Silva undoubtedly shines pretty bright.
With blue chip sponsors such as Burger King and Nike backing up “The Spider,” with time, it will only get bigger and brighter. But, just how popular is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion right now?
According to his manager, Ed Soares, to put things in perspective and gauge the Brazilian’s popularity in his home country, he is a bigger star in Brazil than National Basketball Association (NBA) mega-stars Kobe Bryant and Lebron James are in the United States of America (USA).
That’s pretty big, considering Kobe and Lebron are two of the most iconic basketball players in the world, let alone the U.S.
Soares broke it all down on his recent appearance on “The MMA Hour.”
“He’s bigger than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James here (USA). He’s bigger than that there (Brazil). It’s crazy. Every time I go there, when I don’t think it can get any bigger, he somehow seems to get even bigger. I heard a lot of talks, I was in San Paulo yesterday meeting with one of our partners down there with an agency and they were telling me that Anderson right now, is, behind Neymar, the second most popular athlete in Brazil. It all started to get bigger after the Vitor Belfort fight. I knew that it was going to be a huge catapult in his popularity in Brazil because Vitor Belfort is a huge superstar out there also and for Anderson to go out there and beat Vitor they way he did, I felt that was a big turning point in his popularity.”
Though Silva’s star shines bright in Brazil, apparently, when compared to his countrymen, 20-year old soccer superstar Neymar, he is currently a close second.
Soares assure everyone Silva’s stardom and burst in popularity is not going to his head:
“He went from a guy who was a top fighter in the world, a top pound-for-pound fighter to just about everywhere he goes, everybody’s like, ‘Hey, champ, you’re the greatest. You’re the best. Can I get you this? Can I get you that?’ It’ll get anybody a little bit kind of tripped out. You know what I mean? I think he’s kind of filling into the shoes that he’s become. I think he’s doing a great job with it. He’s really kind of come full circle. I think he’s handling it very well. He’s kind of back to his roots which very nice to see because there were some times when, you know, it started getting a little crazy.”
Like a boss!
His most recent dominant performance this past weekend (Oct. 18, 2012) at UFC 153 in Brazil against Stephan Bonnar, I’m sure, only helped his fame and popularity grow that much more.
Anyone care to refute Soares’ comments?
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