Less than five years ago Paulo Filho was widely considered to be the second best middleweight in Mixed Martial Arts behind UFC champion Anderson Silva. Today the 33-year old has been relegated to small shows with only a mediocre mark in the ring since submitting Chael Sonnen at WEC 31 in December 2007, and, according to Filho himself, is on the cusp of retirement.
“I may fight in November (in Poland) because I already signed the contract, after that I will retire. I don’t want this anymore…I’m very sad in this moment. If I fight in November – if I fight – I’m already saying I won’t fight anymore,” said Filho in a conversation with Tatame.
The bout Filho is referring to relates to a match-up with Polish ace Mamed Khalidov at KSW 17 on November 26.
The heartbroken Filho explained his decision is part to the struggles he’s endured through out his career, both personal and professional in nature, citing some problems with drug use and a manager who cheated him out of a significant sum of money.
Today’s news regarding his decision to hang his sleeveless, blue, flannel shirt up marks a final sad note in what was nearly a brilliant career. Filho went 16-0 to start things out with a number of spectacular showings in PRIDE but is only 6-4-2 in his last twelve including a bizarre showing against Sonnen in a 2008 rematch where he appeared to talk to himself and stare off into space throughout.
“I believe I always defended Jiu-Jitsu with all my heart, always an honest guy. I never ducked anyone, never chose opponents. I fought in worst conditions, but never ran away. Nobody had the privilege to finish me,” Filho explained. “I had good and horrible moments. I did what I could, it’s over. I was far from what I could have been, but I’m satisfied. It’s over.”
PHOTO CREDIT – DSE
MMATraining Take: For folks who have never seen Filho fight or are only familiar with his in-ring antics against Sonnen in their second fight, find a way to locate some videos of Filho in his prime because you’ll have a completely different take on this news item if you do. Filho has been his own worst enemy and will go down for ultimately becoming an example of wasted talent instead of fulfilling what seemed to be his destiny as one of MMA’s all-time greats. I sincerely hope he finds a way to exorcise his personal demons because otherwise I’d wager the next headline with Filho’s name in it will be an obituary. Sad, but true.