It's gotta be the shoes for Team Soares

Can old gym shoes be the key to Team Soares' success? Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER -- If you haven’t noticed, there aren’t a lot of guys coming out of Black House that lose. Theoretically, this is because Ed Soares has a stable of fighters who are really good practitioners of the martial arts -- guys like Anderson Silva (28-4), Junior dos Santos (12-1), Lyoto Machida (17-2) and Diego Nunes (16-1). The mystery only deepens when you add in the cameo appearances by Steven Seagal, who has guys doing everything short of levitating in training sessions (allegedly).

But there is another theory out there that might as well be discussed, and that is Black House owner/translator/manager Ed Soares’ influence on the whole deal. In the 1970s people carried rabbit’s feet for good luck. Soares doesn’t go that far, but he does cover his own feet with a pair of tennies that are in powerful collusion with the cosmos. To his mind anyway.

“I have a superstition,” he told me after the UFC 131 press conference in Vancouver. “I have a pair of shoes that I always wear on fight night. They are a pair of Adidas, they’re a pair Muhammad Ali Adidas shoes. On fight nights I always wear those shoes, every single fight.”

He will be wearing those shoes tomorrow night when Junior dos Santos takes on Shane Carwin in the main event at UFC 131 to establish a No. 1 contender for Cain Velasquez. Ditto for his lighter charge, Diego Nunes, who is welcoming Kenny Florian to the featherweight division. He was wearing them when Anderson Silva obliterated Rich Franklin at UFC 64, and when Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans at UFC 98 to win the belt. It’s hard to argue the success rate of those shoes.

Scoffable? Maybe, but considering that Anderson Silva hasn’t lost since early 2006 and dos Santos since 2007 -- and with credit being assigned to everyone from Seagal for dishing up the chakra energy to land those mythological front kicks to the fun proceeds of drinking your own urine (Machida) -- the shoes should at least get equal footing.