World Extreme Cagefighting last week officially announced its Dec. 12 event featuring three title fights. That announcement named Jeff Curran as featherweight champ Urijah Faber’s opponent and a match between light heavyweight titleholder Doug Marshall and Ariel Gandulla. The only champion listed without an opponent was Paulo Filho.
That changed on Wednesday when Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole reported that the WEC had signed Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Chael Sonnen to face Filho at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
WEC executive Scott Adams told Iole of Sonnen, “He’s got a lot of wins against a lot of top guys, but this is really his kind of breakthrough chance, which I believe he realizes.”
Bringing a record of 19-8-1 with him into the cage against Filho (who is 15-0), Sonnen is riding a five-fight win streak including wins over Kyacey Uscola and Amar Suloev. He is a product of the Team Quest camp in Gresham, Ore.
Filho, who is currently ranked as the No. 2 middleweight in the world by MMAWeekly, became the WEC champion by destroying veteran fighter Joe Doerksen in August. He should prove a very difficult task for Sonnen as the Pride veteran has finished the likes of Kazuo Misaki, Ryo Chonan, and Murilo “Ninja” Rua.