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‘Delivery for Mr. Sonnen’: Filho to Ship WEC Title Belt to Its Rightful Owner

(A chubby Filho tries to muster the interest to block a jab. Photo courtesy of

True to their word, Paulo Filho’s camp will be sending Chael Sonnen the WEC middleweight title belt that he wants so badly, according to Josh Gross. Sonnen didn’t officially win the championship, what with Filho not making weight, and he may not have looked dazzling in his decision victory but he still clearly deserves the strap more than Filho. Ed Soares, Filho’s manager, said he’d be shipping Sonnen the belt “as soon as he could.”

What’s perhaps more interesting is Soares’ description of Filho after the bizarre fight. Apparently, he didn’t even seem to realize what had happened, which is sort of odd for a guy who made it all the way through three rounds:

Having returned to his locker room after refusing to engage for 15 minutes, Filho (16-1), told several times he’d lost, reacted as if he was unaware the fight had even reached its conclusion, Soares said.

Soon, Filho drew attention from doctors when the dilation of his pupils didn’t match. Later that evening, however, the 30-year-old grappler was released from a local hospital, his eyes functioning as close to normal as they’d done all night.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get weirder. The confusion on Filho’s part might help explain his performance, though. If he was unaware the fight had ended, perhaps he was also unaware it had ever started. Wait until he sees the tape of the fight. Boy, is his face going to be unemployed. I mean red.


What’s Going On, Paulo?

Paulo Filho Chael Sonnen WEC 36
(Paulo Filho hears the ghost voice from Field of Dreams at the worst possible time.)

Paulo Filho’s performance at last night’s WEC was, in a word, bizarre. Not even the interesting kind of bizarre, either. He managed to be both incredibly tedious to watch as well as completely inscrutable, particularly toward the end of the fight when his attention seemed to wander. What is Paulo looking at here? Was he as bored with the fight as we were? Was he having hallucinatory visions of a half-naked Indian spirit guide?

After what we’ve seen of Filho in the last couple of days, you have to think he hasn’t truly recovered from the multitude of “personal problems” that kept him out of action for most of 2008. It’s one thing to show up overweight. It’s another thing to show up overweight and then fight like you’re on mescaline. After all the talk about pride and how personal this was for him, Filho embarrassed himself last night. Coming into a fight that unprepared and uninterested is insulting to your opponent, your employer, and the fans.

The loss brings up another question: where is Filho’s mostly-meaningless WEC middleweight title belt? His corner told Matt Lindland they’d give it to Sonnen if he won the fight, and Lindland’s not the type of guy to forget about something like that. Filho might as well give it up, because he proved last night that he’s not deserving of any title other than ‘fighter most likely to slip into a spontaneous trance at any moment.’

Give up the belt, Paulo. That is, if you haven’t pawned it already. Then go back to rehab and get your head together.


Great, Now Everyone’s Going to Want an Affliction Championship Belt

(Something has to keep a fella’s pants up. Might as well be an imaginary belt.)

When Vitor Belfort told that he was going to be fighting Matt Lindland “for the belt” at Affliction: Day of Reckoning (dun-dun-duh!!!), they took it to mean that it would be a bout for Affliction’s middleweight title, which the organization doesn’t currently have and which they may or may not be creating. No biggie, we thought. Either Affliction is planning to create a title belt, or else it’s a harmless misunderstanding.

At least, it was harmless. And then Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (aka Little Nog) found out about it. Now he wants a belt to be created so he can fight for it too. After all, Vitor’s getting one. It’s not fair!

“Minotouro” (it’s been said before, but really, these twin brothers with almost identical names have to have almost identical nicknames, too? come on) first heard about the situation from Tatame, and they later relayed the conversation in this crystal clear translation:

“I’ll fight in October 11th, but it’s not right yet against who. They’re speculating a lot of opponents, but they didn’t say anything yet”, told Rogério, that didn’t knew yet about Belfort’s fight. “Did they created a belt for him? Do you know if they’ll create a belt to light-heavyweight too?”, asked Nogueira.

After hearing a “no” as an answer, Nogueira promised win the belt – when Affliction creates one. “If they make one it’ll be great… I wanna be on top, and I’m ready. If I get this belt I can be a top 3”

Top three, huh? For winning the Affliction title that hasn’t been created yet? Okay. Eventually someone’s going to have to tell Little Nog that there are some serious problems with this logic. We’re just glad it won’t be us.


Belfort and Lindland at Affliction 2 “For The Belt”

(That’s right, we’ll use any excuse to post this picture again.)

Fresh off his victory after knocking out Terry Martin with a broken hand at Affliction: Banned, Vitor Belfort tells that he’ll face everyone’s favorite MMA politico, Matt Lindland, at the organization’s second event in Las Vegas on October 11. The broken hand is healing up nicely and won’t be much of an issue, says Belfort, and he’s not too worried about Lindland’s wrestling skills either:

“It’ll be a great fight, we’ll see who is the best of the world there”, said Belfort, that guarantees his style will be a problem for Lindland. “I saw his fight with Negão and he’s a warrior… He comes be over you, but I don’t think he has the strength to stay over me”, analyzes Vitor, that wants another knockout on his career. “I’ll go to knock him out… My punches are well-aimed and when it hits he won’t stand”, guarantees Belfort.

Belfort also says that he’ll fight Lindland “for the belt”. The only question is, what belt? It’s hard to imagine that it’s the WAMMA belt, since Lindland is currently ranked seventh in the middleweight class there and Vitor is, well, not mentioned. The Tatame homepage says it’s the Affliction belt, but we weren’t even aware there was one.

Then again, maybe there really is no belt at stake. Maybe Vitor just meant it as a figure of speech, kind of like right before the climactic fight scene in “Lethal Weapon” when Riggs asks Mr. Joshua if he wants a shot at the title. That was awesome, by the way.