Filho (16-0), undefeated in sixteen professional MMA bouts, won the vacant WEC middleweight title with a first-round TKO of UFC veteran Joe Doerksen at WEC 29. In his controversial first title defense, Filho defeated Sonnen in December at WEC 31 via second-round submission. The bout was halted late in the round despite Sonnen never submitting and just five-seconds remaining in the frame.
A rematch was originally scheduled to headline WEC 34 but was postponed after Filho checked into a substance abuse facility for an undisclosed chemical dependency.
Sonnen (20-9-1) defeated Bryan Baker via unanimous decision at WEC 33 after his rematch with Filho was postponed. He has won six of his last seven bouts.
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