by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
The Brazilian Top Team’s Paulo Filho is one of the best young fighters in Pride FC. Undefeated at 9-0, he’s proven himself throughout his career against tough veteran fighters such as Yuki Kondo, Amar Suloev, and Ryuta Sakurai.
Now Paulo gets an opportunity to take another step closer to a title as he takes on fellow young standout, Murilo “Ninja” Rua at Bushido 10 this upcoming weekend. Shortly before Filho was set to leave for Japan he spoke to MMA Weekly to discuss the upcoming fight and his future plans.
When asked what he’s been up to since his last fight at Bushido: The Tournament in September of last year, Paulo replied, “In my last fight in Japan I had a bad injury in my foot. So I took a one month break to heal it. After that I started training.”
Filho continued, “I am training hard because I want to be among the best. My last two fights (arm bar victories over Suloev and Sakurai) represent all of what I am doing to get in this position.”
At Bushido 10 Paulo will be facing off against Murilo Rua, a member of the BTT’s hated rival Chute Boxe Academy. As Filho himself points out, this is a fight he has been anxious for and the ill will between the two camps has spilled over to the individual fighters.
“I’ve been expecting this fight for a long time,” explained Paulo. “I was pushing Mario (Sperry, BTT Leader) a lot to give me this opportunity. So now my dream came true and I am very happy and very well trained.”
Filho added, “Those guys in Chute Boxe have no respect for their opponents. They do not know how to lose. My thing with Ninja is personal and he will end up in the hospital, wait and see.”
As for what Paulo expects in this fight, he’s aware of what Rua brings to the table and he’s anticipating keeping the fight where the BTT shines the best, on the mat.
“Ninja is very well-rounded and he has good endurance,” commented Filho. “I am very well prepared though and I will try to fight most of the time on the ground.”
If all should go well for Paulo against Rua, he clearly states what he wants to do next. “I want to represent the BTT in the next Pride Bushido 183lb GP.”
Filho concluded, “I would like to thank my family, my training partners, Pride for this chance, and the fans for their support. I will not let you down without a good fight in Bushido 10, I promise.”