Following the trend of go big or go home, Paulo Filho showed up for his WEC middleweight title defense 7 pounds overweight. While he managed to get himself down to a slightly less insulting 189 pounds, that’s still nowhere near close enough to 185 for the fight to stay a title bout.
Not that this changes very much … with the WEC folding the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions into the UFC, Paulo’s belt will become a clunky paperweight following tonight’s show. And his camp is treating it as such:
Perhaps more interesting is that Filho’s cornerman indicated to Lindland that they would give up the title belt if Sonnen wins. “His cornermen told us that they would walk across the cage and hand Chael the belt if he wins. When Chael whoops his ass, I expect them to live up to their word.
“I just feel bad for Chael, he doesn’t get a chance at the title. This is three times that Chael has been ready for this fight,” continued Lindland. “One time it was put off due to the threat of Hurricane Ike, but the other two times were Paulo’s.”
This has caused havok with the betting lines, with Chael Sonnen going from +150 to -110 overnight on BetUS and other sportsbooks actually taking down the odds while their bookies re-calculate shit. I’m actually surprised the line hasn’t shifted more, considering the fact that this is Filho’s return from psychosis and his last performance against Sonnen was pretty weak specifically because he was so drained from his weight cut.
I’m not about to say that Filho is gonna lose tonight … even depressed, dehydrated, and demotivated he still has a pretty good shot of subbing Chael Sonnen out. But it certainly raises quite a few eyebrows.