WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho initially defeated Chael Sonnen at WEC 31 last December. He caught Sonnen in an armbar as the 2ndRound was about to come to an end. The referee jumped in to stop the fight, thinking that the challenger’s arm was in serious danger and that he had verbally submitted. Sonnen insists that he never verbally tapped. Although the Brazilian was successful in his first-ever title defense, the controversy has left a bad taste in his mouth. Filho intends to leave no doubt this time around.
“He attacked my pride last time,” Filho stated. “He could have acted like a man, a professional, but he acted like a teenager, a spoiled brat. He will pay for that in the cage. He’s fighting someone who’s there to kill or get killed and doesn’t give up.”
There certainly was no love lost between these two before they met, and the fallout from the controversial win has not helped calm matters one bit.
WEC 36 was initially scheduled to take place on September 10th, however due to Hurricane Ike, the organization was forced to reschedule. Since then Filho’s boxing coach has even gotten in on the verbal sparring.
Josuel Distak said that Sonnen was lucky that Hurricane Ike came when it did, stating that Filho was more than prepared for the rematch, mentally and physically, however the delay was a blessing for Sonnen.
“Not only Paulo, but everybody was really sorry about it, we were training hard and it happened,” Distak stated about the hurricane. “It’s sad for some, and good for others. Good for Sonnen…We were stronger and ready to get his left arm again. He has now more one month to get ready.”
Unfortunately, Filho was unable to make the required 185-pound weight limit for the bout, however the good news is that the two will still square off. The bad news is that it will now only be a 3Round, non-title bout.