WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho will not be able to defend his title on March 26th due to â€œchemical dependencyâ€ and depression according to Sherdog. Filho, who was originally scheduled to face Chael Sonnen in a highly anticipated rematch at WEC 33 in Las Vegas, has reportedly checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic in Niteroi, Brazil, after disappearing two days earlier.
Filhoâ€™s manager Jorge Guimaraes commented on the situation to Sherdog:
“We tried our best with Filho, but it didn’t work and he’ll not fight in the WEC,” Guimaraes said. “He tried with all his effort to accomplish the title defense, but he realized he couldn’t do it due to chemical dependence and depression. He knew this kind of stuff does not have a link with the sport, and I’m happy he had a conscience and looked for help.”
Guimaraes couldn’t say for certain how long Filho will stay under treatment, but he suggested the fighter will stay at the clinic until he is 100 percent. Filho is feeling better, Guimares said, after 48 hours of treatment. Guimaraes declined comment on the root of Filho’s chemical dependence.”
“The WEC staff was superb with us,” the manager added. “They understood the situation, and Filho will return and defend his belt in June. Filho also realized who his real friends are, and he took this lesson seriously. He’ll come back victorious from this tough moment and he will be supported, as mentioned, by his real friends.”
Since Filhoâ€™s manager declined to comment (which is always a smart move) you have to wonder what exactly these â€œchemical dependenciesâ€ were. If any are revealed to be illegal performance enhancers or steroids, then Filhoâ€™s drug screening and general reputation could come into question a la Sean Sherk, however no such information was reported in the article.