"That was the last fight we wanted. When Joe (Silva) offered it to us, I asked to put his against any other American -- Forrest, Rashad, Rampage -- but they said you have to fight whoever they put in front of you. Rogério is my friend, "Banha" is his fan ... [he] likes him a lot, we didn’t want this fight ... and this fight will be dramatic, really tough.... The only thing that cheers me on that is that, if "Banha" passes through Rogério, he’ll have possibilities to fight fort he title on a close future."
-- Alex Davis, the manager for surging light heavyweight, Luis "Banha" Cane, laments to Tatame.com about his fighter being paired up opposite Antonio Rogerio "Minotouro" Noguiera at UFC 106 on Nov. 21. As he points out, the Brazilians have somewhat of a history together, as well as a long-standing mutual respect. But UFC executives, including the top man in charge, Lorenzo Fertitta, have recently been vocal about their policy that fighters will have to fight who they want them to fight ... regardless of friendship or personal preferences. Does this put Rashad Evans (who is adamant that he will never again fight Keith Jardine) or Anderson Silva (who vows to never get inside the Octagon opposite Lyoto Machida) or Jon Fitch (who claims he won't take on Josh Koscheck or Mike Swick) on notice? Do these fighters need to put everything aside ... especially if title implications are on the line?