Ok, before I blast a hole the size of a Mack Truck in the following statements made by Paulo Filho on the UFC and the WEC. Let’s review Paulo Filho’s fights while he was a undefeated middleweight in PRIDE, Akira Shoji (14-16) experienced veteran not the biggest challenge, Amar Suloev (24-7) good UFC and PRIDE veteran. Ryuta Sakurai (19-15) another veteran of the Japanese circuit, Murilo “Ninja” Rua (17-14)veteran at his prime when they fought, but Filho pulled out the decision. Gregory Bouchelaghem (5-4) and done in the sport, Ryo Chonan (16-10) good veteran the only one of two fighters to finish Anderson Silva probably at his best while fighting for PRIDE. Kazuo Misaki (22-9)veteran and still a good fighter, after that he went to the WEC and fought Joel Doerkson and Chael Sonnen going 2-1.
It is safe to say that in PRIDE Filho faced his share of good veterans, cans and legitimate fighters in between fights. While in the WEC he faced the best the promotion had to offer at the time, but still not the cream of the crop in the sport.
Well Filho tellshe feels that the American promotions push their own agenda and only look to match up Brazilian fighters with “Bad matchups”…Let’s hear em out first.
I will agree with Filho if he said every fighter faces tough competition in the UFC and WEC, but just Brazilians? Let’s look at the UFC over the course of the past year.
Anderson Silva is still the middleweight champion and will fight against another Brazilian in Vitor Belfort at UFC 108 for the second time (Thales Leites at UFC 97).
UFC 104 features two fighters from Brazil in Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and the champion’s family and parents, family and heritage were a big part of his marketing during UFC 98.
Thiago Alves received the biggest push in the welterweight division coming into his fight at UFC 100 against Georges St.Pierre in terms of marketing, hype and support.
I will agree that Wagney Fabiano was getting the shaft in the WEC, but he killed off that argument losing this week to fighter making his debut and getting submitted by a Triangle.
In Japan DREAM may let Shinya Aoki fight for a title every 6 months, but in the U.S he would be a “Gate Keeper” if he got his head blasted off twice in a year by T/KO. He would not have competed for a title right away, he would have had to earn it.
The marketing, the audience, the sponsors and the fan’s loyalties are all different. In the U.S we love winners in Japan they love any fighter who can put up a good performance.
There is no conspiracy against Filho and his inability to keep his weight and personal issues were the reason for his two poor performances against Chael Sonnen. We all knew Filho was at rehab before he fought Sonnen the second time and was rumored to have ballooned to over 200 pounds. Besides, how many other American fighters do you see looking for advice from Obi Wan Kenobi in the corner during a fight?
If Filho wants to blame anyone for his performances in the WEC, it’s himself not Zuffa or the WEC.