MMA News: Paulo Filho Released By Zuffa

It is being reported from several MMA media outlets that WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho has been released from Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC and WEC.  The WEC and UFC together decided to merge the WEC middleweight and light heavyweight divisons into the talent heavy UFC.  The UFC expected to pick up several solid fighters in the move including middleweight Paulo Filho who many considered to be the #2 middleweight in the world.  However, Filho had a rough year.  He beat Chael Sonnen in a controversial win and then things went down hill.  Filho checked himself into drug rehab and admitted to battling depression.  The WEC and Zuffa stuck with Filho through those problems and then gave him a second fight with Chael Sonnen.  Many people expected a renewed Filho, but that didn’t happen.  Filho went to the weigh ins and came in 9 pounds over the required 185 lbs.   He could not make weight, but Sonnen tookt he fight anyways and the fight was changed to being a non-title fight.  The fight was strange to say the least.  Sonnen dominated Filho, who looked like he was out of it and like he didn’t care.  This was most likely the final blow to his UFC dream.  Ed Soares, Filho’s manager confirmed the news:

It’s true. We’ve recevied paperwork that they’re releasing him from his contract. The WEC’s been great throughout everything, but it’s understandable. He’s had a rough year. We have faith that he’ll be back. I still believe he’s one of the best middleweights in the world.

Perhaps Soares is correct and Filho is one of the best, but his lack of ability to make weight, his drug/depression problems, his lackluster fight with Sonnen, his unwillingness to fight Anderson Silva, and his expressed desire to move to 205 lbs despite being 5’8″ all combined together did not help him.  I would bet it is off to Japan or Affliction for Filho where he can beat up on second rate competition.

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