by: Jack Bratcher
Chael Sonnen revealed to host Larry Pepe last night on Pro MMA Radio that he had indeed received the WEC Middleweight Belt from Paulo Filho following his defeat of the overinflated Filho at WEC 36 on November 5th.
Originally scheduled as a WEC Middleweight Title Fight, Filho could not make the 185 lb. weight limit and therefore according to the rules the bout could not be a title fight.
If you wondered why Paulo Filho looked flat during the fight (understatement of the year) the answer most certainly lies in his problems trying to make weight.
As soon as he stepped off the plane on Saturday night after arriving in Florida, WEC officials weighed Sonnen who was due to weigh in on Tuesday. Sonnen clocked in at 197 which was 12 lbs. over. He had all day Sunday and Monday to cut that weight; not a problem.
After the weight check Saturday eveniing, Sonnen curious as to Filho’s weight, asked officials how the Middleweight champion looked. They informed him that Paulo Filho weighed 217 lbs., that is thirty-two pounds overweight, just two days before the official weigh-ins for WEC 36.
No wonder Filho performed so poorly against Sonnen. It’s no excuse for his performance but it at least answers the reason why.
Sonnen said he was more interested in the “title” of WEC Middleweight Champion as opposed to having the belt. However, he does appreciate the gesture from Filho.
There had been some talk of a potential rematch between Sonnen and Filho but that seems highly unlikely in the foreseeable future since Filho has been released from his Zuffa contract. Sonnen said he had heard Filho was actually cut from his contract the same night of their fight.
WEC Middleweight Title or not matters little at this point since that division no longer exists with World Extreme Cagefighting. Their middleweight and light heavyweight classes have been merged into the UFC. Chael Sonnen is now a UFC fighter. Paulo Filho could have been there as well. All he had to do was make weight and fight the same kind of fight that got him the Title.
Even if Sonnen didn’t officially win the WEC MIddleweight Championship due to a technicality, he has the belt that says he did. Even if the commission won’t admit he deserves the Title at least Paulo Filho was man enough to admit he no longer deserved to be called The Champion.
To hear the interview with Chael Sonnen visit www.prommaradio.com. Larry Pepe is the host of Pro MMA Radio which airs live every Monday evening at 6 pm PT / 9 pm ET.