PRIDE veteran and former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho had withdrawn from his Feb. 25 bout against Yuki Sasaki at Bitetti Combat 6 due to "personal problems" according to a report from Tatame.com.
Now he's back in after Yuki Sasaki threatened to walk says Sherdog.com.
Apparently Sasaki wasn't too keen on fighting last minute replacement Thales Leites and Filho has agreed to rejoin the card to save the main event.
Thales Leites will remain on the card against Rico Washington.
The talented-but-troubled Filho has been all over the map, both figuratively and literally since his bizarre loss to Chael Sonnen at WEC 36 in November 2008. After submitting "Marvelous" Melvin Manhoef in July of 2009, "Ely" skipped out on a return to Japan for a match against Dong Sik Yoon at DREAM 12, citing VISA issues as the culprit.
He quickly erased that snafu with a submission win over the absurdly-overmatched Tatsuhiko Nishizaka at the Bitetti Combat 5 event last December. Promoters were trying to secure a battle with Kazushi Sakuraba for the upcoming show but in the end had to settle for Sasaki.
Filho has world class skills that are unfortunately hampered by world class problems.
Leites on the other hand sails into Brazil after getting the boot from the UFC following back-to-back losses to Anderson Silva and Alessio Sakara. He had the opportunity to rebuild his name up north when he debuted for Maximum Fighting Championship last December but turned in a wretched performance against Dean Lister at "Unstoppable."
The submission specialist will have a chance to get things turned around this week in Brazil.
Here is how the Bitetti Combat 6 card is shaping up:
Paulo Filho vs. Yuki Sasaki
Thales Leites vs. Rico Washington
Glover Teixeira vs. Jeff Monson
Fabio Maldonado vs. Guto Inocente
Cristiano Marcello vs. Emiliano Cobra Vatt
Ediene "India" Gomes vs. Amanda Nunes
Luiz Firmino "Buscapé" vs. Francisco Drinaldo "Massaranduba"
Danillo "Indio" Villefort vs. Cassiano Tytschyo
Yuri Villefort vs. Julio Cesar Merenda
Leandro Batata vs. Johnny "Little" Eduardo
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on Bitetti Combat 6, including full results and recap as the event unfolds later this week.