Former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho is a uniquely talented fighter, and a uniquely troubled soul. In the latest episode, he is at odds with World Series of Fighting.
Filho signed a multi-fight contract with WSoF, and fought David Branch, but the whole process was so challenging that the organization may not use him again. In the meantime, Filho is breaking his contract, and fighting for the Bitetti Combat middleweight title on Thursday. Filho wants WSoF to buy out his contract at the stipulated amount, of which he said "let’s say I wouldn’t do anything else for the rest of my life."
"The whole Ray Sefo thing was a misunderstanding," said Filho to MMAFighting.com. "He didn’t like my fight? OK, no problem. I was injured and he should have known that. I have all the exams to prove it. But I went there and fought, I did my part. I’m not what they saw, I’m better than that and they know it."
"My contract has an interesting clause, with good numbers. If one of the sides wants to end the contract, they have to pay big money. But if they don’t want me there, that’s fine. Pay me what you have to pay and I’ll just go home to relax (laughs)."
WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz offers the promotion's side of the dispute.
"Legally, he should not fight at any other event but us because he’s under a contract with us," said Abdel-Aziz. "If he needs to fight and support his family, he can do that, but he never asked for our permission. I never gave him permission to fight anywhere.
"We’re not going after him for fighting somewhere else. Paulo Filho fought for us and he was not focused. His management was the worst management I’ve ever worked with. He has two managers and they both were fighting each other. He was coming to New Jersey and he missed his flight two times, and he was very unprofessional. It was very hard for us to bring him to the United States."
"I’m not interested on having him fighting for us again. The guy is such a legend, I respect the guy. At one point he was one of the best guys in the world and I respect him. But, at the same time, I think he’s going through a lot of personal problems. I don’t know how he’s feeling now, but I wish him the best."
"He didn’t ask for our permission for this fight and that’s something I’m going to have to talk with him about. We have to honor our contracts. We’re men.
"If we need him in Brazil, I’ll use him, but for now I don’t have any interest in having him fighting for us again."
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