At one time, former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho was considered the No. 2 fighter in the world at 185lbs, and possibly the best challenger to UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Fast forward a few years later and Filho’s career has taken a path that could only be described as sad and tragic.
Since losing to Chael Sonnen in 2008 and exiting the WEC for the last time, Filho has gone 6-3-2, but that’s nothing compared to the personal problems he’s encountered dealing with a drug issue and depression that have caused many around him to remain concerned over the years.
Reports surfaced in Brazil on Tuesday that Filho had been hospitalized for substance abuse, but speaking to Tatame.com on Wednesday the former WEC champion refuted those claims and also says that his former manager who reported the claim is no longer affiliated with him.
According to reports, Filho ingested a large amount of the drug Rohypnol and was hospitalized following the overdose.
“I’m very upset. That’s something people say and give you space to think about drugs and other things. My biggest problem only was medicine,” Filho told the Brazilian site on Wednesday.
According to Filho, he and his former manager Rodrigo Riscardo had a falling out and he apparently took excessive amounts of money from the fighter.
“He’s a crazy person. Man, people invented a lot of stuff, and unfortunately I gave them reasons to think that. He said that just to avoid paying what he owes me,” Filho commented.
Beyond anything else that’s been going on, Filho’s problems are obviously mounting because with a fight looming in November in KSW against former Sengoku middleweight Mamed Khalidov, he’s become reflective on his entire career in fighting.
Filho now says that following that fight in November he will call it a career.
“I’m choosing or retirement,” Filho stated. “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. I had good and horrible moments. I did what I could, it’s over. I was far from what I could have been.”
There’s probably no better words that those. Paulo Filho, a fighter with so much promise that ended up far from what he could have been.
KSW has yet to release an official statement if Filho will remain on the card against Khalidov or not.