One day after reports surfaced that WEC middleweight Paulo Filho was released from his contract and would not be promoted to the UFC, he and his camp are speaking out about the past, and most importantly his future. Ed Soares, Filho’s manager, states that both he and Filho understand why Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and the WEC, chose not to continue their relationship with the troubled fighter. However, Filho and Co. feel that they will be back.
“They don’t have to, it was obvious why,” Soares said about whether Zuffa explained to them why they decided to part ways with Filho.
Filho came into his WEC 36 rematch with Chael Sonnen overweight, out of shape and seemingly disinterested. In three of the most boring and uneventful rounds imaginable, the champion failed to show up, losing a unanimous decision to Sonnen.
“He deserved to lose,” Filho’s father said. “…I hope that this first loss can wake him up, because I always tell him when things start wrong, they finish wrong.”
Outside of his forgettable performance at WEC 36, it has been a tumultuous 12 months for Filho. Earlier this year, the WEC was forced to reschedule his rematch with Sonnen because he was dealing with a severe case of depression which prevented him from training. Clearly, Filho is still battling those demons.
“It’s been a rough year. Paulo’s had some troubles and a lot of personal issues. But in the end, it’ll make him a stronger person,” Soares stated.
“Paulo’s a true warrior who’s going through some issues in his life now,” Soares added. “You learn a lot more from your losses than you do your wins. Hopefully, he’ll take these negatives and turn them into something positive.”
The fallen middleweight makes no excuses for his performance or behavior, however he will look to get his life in order first, and he hopes his career will follow closely.
“My dad and my mom are two of the most important things in my life, and I will not disappoint them or my fans anymore,” Filho said. “I have no excuses. [Sonnen] went there and did his job to neutralize me, and that’s what happened. He did the right job and deserves all the credit.”
As soon as Filho is able to get his mental health in check, it is likely that if he returns he will resurface in Japan, where he experienced the best years of his MMA career.