The last man to hold the WEC middleweight title before the extinction of the division from the organization, Paulo Filho, has vowed to send his championship belt to Chael Sonnen following Wednesday's unanimous decision loss at WEC 36.
Originally the bout was scheduled to be for Filho's title anyway, but the Brazilian weighed in at a staggering seven pounds overweight, forcing officials to adjust the match to a three round non-title affair.
After the weigh-in, representatives from Filho's camp assured Matt Lindland -- who trains Sonnen at Team Quest -- that if Sonnen were to win the belt would be handed over in the ring as a sign of respect.
It never happened.
That could be because Filho seemed like he was on another planet during and after the fight. In fact, according to his manager Ed Soares via SI.com, Filho didn't even know the fight was over when he returned to the locker room following the three round decision.
He was incoherent, delirious and during his post-fight examination he had one pupil dilated much larger than the other, prompting doctors to order him to a local hospital.
Even before he stepped in the cage, Filho was publicly battling depression issues as well as substance abuse problems, which actually led to the rematch getting postponed from March to November 5. It was believed that he had overcome his personal issues and that we'd be seeing the best Paulo Filho in the cage during the fight.
Obviously that wasn't that case.
Filho was once considered by most to be a top 185-pound mixed martial artist in the world, but he's clearly not the same man or fighter any longer. Just how far he has fallen is anyone's gue -- he resembles nothing at all close to the fighter or man who was at one time considered to be among the best in the business.
Hopefully, Filho can get the help he needs to get himself together. Honoring his promise to Sonnen -- who promised his father on his death bed before the fight the he would win a world title -- is a step in the right direction.