Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

Soares interview: Silva’s manager says fighter’s popularity soaring with Burger King dealThe UFC is hoping UFC 134 is the beginning of big things in Brazil. The nation that produces an amazing number of top notch mixed martial artists is still lukewarm on the sport. Anderson Silva, Royce Gracie and the Nogueira brothers have been battling an uphill climb to compete with the Brazilian stars from soccer. The Rio event on Aug. 27 could be a major step.

Silva is already seeing some gains. The UFC middleweight champ just signed a deal with Burger King in Brazil.

"Anderson has a great identity with the brand, is an idol of many audiences, especially young people, our main customers. We believe he has much to contribute to make the new campaign more fun and impacting," said Paul Davis, the marketing manager for Burger King Brazil.

Silva's manager Ed Soares excited to see MMA stars getting the attention they deserve.

"All the hard work that we've been putting in for the last five years, it's all worked out. This is great for Anderson but even better for the sport  to show that these sort of companies are starting to come around and see the value of our sport. Everyday we're getting closer to breaking down the barriers," Soares told "The MMA Insiders" on ESPNRadio1100/98.9 FM in Las Vegas (3:25 mark).

Silva faces Yushin Okami in the main event at UFC 134. The 36-year-old has never lost in the UFC. His 13-0 run dates back to the middle of 2006.

Listen here for the entire "The MMA Insiders" Show (7/30).

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