Paulo Filho‘s manager, Ed Soares, confirmed to us today that the WEC middleweight champ will not be making the move to the UFC when the WEC 185-pound class is absorbed into the big show. Though it’s hardly a surprise after Filho’s bizarre performance against Chael Sonnen at WEC 36, the news comes as a big hit to the Brazilian’s future plans and at the end of a tumultuous year. Said Soares:
"It’s true. We’ve recevied paperwork that they’re releasing him from his contract. The WEC’s been great throughout everything, but it’s understandable. He’s had a rough year. We have faith that he’ll be back. I still believe he’s one of the best middleweights in the world."
Soares also said he had no idea what caused Filho’s strange performance, during which he often seemed disoriented and uninterested, nor did he know what caused his fighter to show up seven pounds overweight for a title defense. He did say, however, that Filho has sent the WEC middleweight title belt to Sonnen, as promised. On another note, Soares commented on the status of a potential bout between Anderson Silva (also under his management) and Chuck Liddell that is rumored to be the headliner for UFC 95.
"We haven’t been offered that fight. It’s just a rumor at this point. Anderson wants to fight the best and to fight superfights, the biggest fights the UFC can put on, and a fight with Chuck would obviously be a huge fight. What an honor it would be for Anderson to fight Chuck. There’s no bad blood between them, but Chuck is a huge star and it would be a great fight. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see, but Anderson doesn’t pick his opponents. He just wants to fight the biggest fights possible."