Current WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho will now go down as the organization’s last official champ in the weight class. Filho failed on his first attempt to make the required 185-pound weight limit for his title bout by an unbelievable 7 pounds. After being granted an additional two hours to lose the weight, the champ was unable to do so and tomorrow’s night’s WEC 36 bout against Chael Sonnen will now be a 3Round, “non-title fight.”
The WEC confirmed that on his final attempt, Filho was only able to drop down to 189-pounds. Instead of scrapping the bout all together, both camps met and were able to come to terms.
According to Sonnen’s cornerman, Matt Lindland, the fight will now be a 3Round, “non-title bout.” Filho will compensate Sonnen 25% of his purse for taking the fight even though he was unable to make weight.
Although this bout is officially deemed a “non-title” matchup, Filho’s cornerman told Lindland that they would personally hand over the WEC middleweight belt if Sonnen defeats their fighter.
“His cornermen told us that they would walk across the cage and hand Chael the belt if he wins. When Chael whoops his ass, I expect them to live up to their word,” Lindland told MMAWeekly.com.
“I just feel bad for Chael. He doesn’t get a chance at the title. This is three times that Chael has been ready for this fight,” added Lindland. “One time it was put off due to the threat of Hurricane Ike, but the other two times were Paulo’s (fault).”
Not only was this an important rematch to settle Filho’s controversial win over Sonnen last December, but since the WEC is going to eliminate their middleweight and light heavyweight divisions in 2009, the winner would have likely put themselves in great standing to be promoted to the WEC’s sister company, the UFC.
(Photo courtesy of Ken Pishna/MMAWeekly.com)