Chael Sonnen confirmed to Sherdog.com that he will finally have the opportunity at his rematch against controversial WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho on September 10th for the belt. Filho initially beat Sonnan at WEC 31 last December, however the bout ended controversially.
Coming in as an underdog, Sonnen did an outstanding job of dominating Filho through the 1st and 2ndRounds. However, the Brazilian black belt did what he does best and was able to catch Sonnen in an armbar, causing him to “tap” with only five seconds remaining in the 3rdRound. To this day Sonnen denies tapping out.
“I want to be a world champion,” Sonnen told Sherdog. “I want to find out who the best is. If I find out confidently I can’t make it to the top, I’ll quit. If my goal backs off of winning a championship, I’ll disappear from the sport and do something else.”
They were scheduled for a rematch in March, but Filho backed out, for what was reported at the time, as depression. Sherdog reported that he was actually forced to withdraw in order to check himself into a drug rehabilitation program.
“He has a right to miss a date, especially for that type of issue,” stated Sonnen. “We should be supportive of him. If he starts to miss two or three, then there is a problem. But there is the potential there to set a good example.”
However, don’t think that Sonnen now has a small place in his heart for Filho, as his animosity towards the Brazilian lingers on. The two were involved in heated exchanges heading into their first bout.
“I wasn’t trying to be a heel with Paulo (before the first fight). He’s just a dirtbag in real life,” he said. “The only reason I fought him is because no one else would.”
Sonnen wanted to reiterate that this isn’t a made up feud to hype up the fight. He really has disdain for Fihlo and his attitude.
“There is this idea of being respectful to other fighters. That’s the new word. But, this isn’t Britney Spears insulting Christina Aguilera from halfway across the country through the media. I’m going to get in a cage and fight about it, so if he thinks I’m using fighting words — it’s because I’m planning to fight him,” Sonnen said.
The fireworks are sure to be going off in September, as the WEC looks to build momentum off of their last promotion at WEC 34– Faber vs. Pulver, which drew record ticket sales. Also scheduled to take place on August 3rd is the main even featuring Carlos Condit defending his Welterweight title against Hiromitsu Miura.