- NOW A NON-TITLE BOUT, FILHO’S BELT STILL AT RISK

November 4, 2008
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by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion and No. 2 ranked 185-pounder Paulo Filho on Tuesday missed weight at the WEC 36 weigh-ins. Not only did he miss weight, he was over by an astonishing seven pounds, weighing in at 192 pounds.

Filho will now go down as the final WEC middleweight champion. He will fight Sonnen on Wednesday night, but it will not be for the title.

MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday evening confirmed with WEC officials that Filho got down to 189 pounds on his second attempt, therefore making the bout ineligible for championship designation. The two camps did come to terms, allowing the fight to go on as a three-round non-title bout.

Sonnen’s cornerman, Matt Lindland, said that Filho was penalized a percentage of his purse and that Sonnen would receive some monetary compensation for Filho missing weight and it being changed to a non-title bout.

(The WEC later reported on its website that Filho gave up 25% of his purse to Sonnen.)

Perhaps more interesting is that Filho’s cornerman indicated to Lindland that they would give up the title belt if Sonnen wins. “His cornermen told us that they would walk across the cage and hand Chael the belt if he wins. When Chael whoops his ass, I expect them to live up to their word.

“I just feel bad for Chael, he doesn’t get a chance at the title. This is three times that Chael has been ready for this fight,” continued Lindland. “One time it was put off due to the threat of Hurricane Ike, but the other two times were Paulo’s.”

Despite losing its championship luster, the bout is still holds important implications for Filho and Sonnen. With the WEC discontinuing both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions at the end of this year, this bout is expected to serve as a qualifier, likely to launch the winner into the WEC’s sister promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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