Authentic Sports Management President Eyes Family, Not Fame

Jorge Santiago

Jorge Santiago

Robinson content to be the man behind the curtain

Don’t confuse Authentic Sports Management President Glenn Robinson with the former college basketball and NBA star of the same name.

You won’t find this Robinson wearing high socks and knocking down 18-foot jump shots any time soon. In fact, if Robinson had it his way, you wouldn’t know his name in the first place.

“Who was Michael Jordan’s manager?” asked Robinson during an interview with Heavy MMA during UFC 130 fight week. Unable to produce the correct answer, Robinson smiled and added, “but he did a pretty good job, right?”

For Robinson, the foray into working with mixed martial arts fighters wasn’t to put himself in the spotlight or build a massive roster of notable names; it was the opposite.

“We don’t want to be an enormous company. I don’t want anyone to know my name. If I do my job right, no one knows my name; they know my athletes. It’s not about me.

“I think the problem is too many people make it about them, and it’s about the athlete, it’s about the fighter. Without the athlete, who am I? So if I do my job right, everyone knows JZ Cavalcante.”

Cavalcante is one of the ten fighters represented by Robinson. The former top 10 lightweight who cut his teeth in organizations like K-1 Hero’s and Dream in Japan, Cavalcante will be back in the cage very soon.

In fact, the next several weeks are going to be extremely hectic for the Authentic team.

In addition to Cavalcante, who returns to action June 18 against Justin Wilcox on the preliminary portion of the Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum fight card, brothers Danillo and Yuri Villefort both fight the following week on the Strikeforce Challengers 16 card.

The company’s two largest names, Kenny Florian and Rashad Evans, also have high profile fights in the coming weeks as well.

After leaving the group at Jackson’s in Albuquerque, Evans, who has been with Robinson from the beginning, and his long-time coach Mike Van Arsdale setup shop with the quartet of Brazilian’s represented by Authentic as well; UFC 130 competitor Jorge Santiago rounds out the group.

Despite being the most recognizable member of the group, Robinson says he’s fallen right in with his new Brazilian family, and can be the one to bring the spotlight to the rest of the team as well.

“I think definitely Rashad is the biggest name in the group, but [he’ll] be the first to tell you that they’ve been supportive and helpful to him in learning a new style.

“Where we come from is Little Brazil, and it’s a whole different style of jiu-jitsu than you learn everywhere else. He was in my office the other day telling me how he feels he’s in such a great place right now.”

That family vibe, both with the group of fighters based in Florida and the rest of the Authentic team, is precisely what Robinson was aiming for when he made the move into mixed martial arts.

“I don’t have a lot of family; I have two sisters and a mother, my father passed away, that’s it, so this is my family.

“I didn’t start this about being in the spotlight. I didn’t start this about me getting recognition; I didn’t start this about me at all. I started this for them, so once I start trying to be that guy who goes in front of the camera all the time, it goes completely against the reason why I started this business.”

Knowing his philosophy, expect this to be one of the only times you see Robinson as the central figure in a story.

That suits him just fine.