As if it wasn’t troubling enough when we learned that Paulo Filho was forced to withdraw from Fatality Arena 7* due to an apparent seizure last week, today’s development brings an even more depressing insight into the absolute car wreck that is Filho’s life.
As it turns out, there was no seizure (hooray!), but rather, Filho suffered a last minute anxiety attack as a result of antidepressant withdrawal (JackDonaghycryingintoapillow.gif).
Filho opened up about his ongoing troubles with MMAFighting.
I’m not an epileptic. I never had a seizure.
I was a mess. I decided not to use antidepressants, so it wouldn’t kill my reflexes, but I had a terrible day at home. My house looked like a party the day of the fight, lots of people going there. Nobody respected me. It was like Paulo Filho was going to bungee jump instead of getting into a fight, get punched and kicked in the face. I couldn’t focus. My house was like hell that day.
I didn’t want to take medication, so I had a panic attack. I lay down in my bedroom, thinking what I would do. I just froze. I couldn’t move. And for the first time in my life, I respected myself. When things like that happened before, I kept going and fought, and it didn’t end well. People watched me fight like crap and had no idea what had happened. So I decided to respect myself this time.
I agreed to fight because I needed the money. That’s the truth. But I was depressed, I was feeling low. I’ve been trying to find a way to get better, so I gave myself another opportunity. I’m not taking anything away from Amilcar, he’s a great athlete, and a fight is a fight, but inside my head I always think I’m going to win.
Filho went on to lob harsh allegations at promoter Mestre Branco, who he claimed was making an unfair amount of money off of his name in the lead-up to the Fatality event, whereas he was expected to make a measly $3,000 had he fought. While the allegations certainly aren’t coming from the most reliable of source, it wouldn’t be the first time we heard of a fighter getting royally screwed over by a low level promotion or commission.
Branco attempted to defend himself via his Facebook page:
Paulo didn’t suffer any seizure, he didn’t faint either. I was there. He had an attack, he froze, and didn’t want to fight anymore. I did everything I could to convince him (to fight), remembering him everything we’ve been through to get to that day. … He never mentioned his fight purse or any money at all. That was clear on the contract he had signed. Actually, he apologized the whole time, declining to fight.
“I have to admit that Paulo needs special treatment. With all this, I learned that you can only help those who want to be helped.
There isn’t really much more to say about Filho’s personal troubles that we haven’t said before (or can’t be said by his choice of tattoos), so let’s just list some facts. Filho is 2-4 with 2 draws since 2010, and was most recently decisioned by Andre Muniz at Bitetti Combat 19. Despite this, he says that he has no plans to retire, and honestly, it’s likely because fighting is the only way he knows how to make a living. Other than starring in an Odd Couple-esque reality show opposite Mayhem Miller, which I be willing to personally fund if they were both interested.