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.