(Paulo could not sleep that night, as he was worried sick about what people would think about his new moustache)
Paulo Filho sat down for an interview with Tatame recently and the normally reserved 31-year-old embattled Brazilian had a lot to say about a lot of things including his May 13 Bellator match-up with Hector Lombard, his future in the sport and the MMA industry in general.
For those unfamiliar with him outside of the bizarre things he has done as of late like talking to ghosts during his fight with Chael Sonnen and tattooing his face like Mike Tyson, Filho used to be an absolute juggernaut when he fought for PRIDE and it sounds like he is trying to put a lid on some of his demons and doing what he needs to do to get things straightened out. Hopefully he can get back to form and we can see him on a bigger stage before long.
Here are some notable quotes from "Ely":
On whether or not he has his sights set on fighting in the UFC:
"Everyone wants it, but it’s not my main goal, even because there’re a lot of other managers who would have plenty conditions to put me on UFC. [My manager Jorge] Joinha [Guimarães], for ethical reasons, thinks it’s not the right time and I agree with him. I think everyone would like to join UFC, but more because of the advertisement. I’m not worried about it, I’m worried about fighting and doing my part, give happiness for whoever still cheers for me. That’s what I’m worried about. I want to fight until my body says to me it’s done.
UFC has turned into an event focused for the public, the show itself, and not for who is the best fighter. As a good traditionalist (laughs), from the old school, I believe I wouldn’t be successful on UFC because of my style [and] tactical positions that the audience won’t get. The UFC’s fans want to see kicks, punches, blood… I’m just like an anaconda, put it down and keep rounding so that any mistake he makes I get it."
On whether or not he thinks his documented mental issues and struggles with addiction will affect his preparations for the fight or his performance against Lombard:
"We’re high-level athletes, we’re used to have a good life, but the most important is to show people that may think that Paulo Filho is done that he’s not. I have problems, so does everybody. The important thing now is Hector Lombard. It doesn’t matter that he’s in a good sequence of fights or if he has our not a belt, even because I’ve got an 18-1 record. I consider myself a complete athlete, never had easy time. Some easier, but none of them were a piece of cake. I have a expansive background, so does he."
"On this fight, something different is going to happen. I think one of them will go down. They were too cautious on the first fight and Shogun knows that if it happens again, he’ll lose again. The champion only loses on the score card if the owner of the event is really mad at him or if the difference is too big, thing that didn’t happen on that fight. I think Shogun has to go for it, what can be a good thing for Lyoto, but I believe Lyoto is not used to athletes so powerful. It’s a fight, man, which I want to see again. It’s very nice to watch a fight with this level of athletes."