Filho not only managed to once again dropped out of another fight, this time for the Bitetti Combat 6 promotion against Japanese fighter Yuki Sasaki, but somehow managed to twice drop out of the bout. On February 22, Filho dropped out citing personal problems and then announced that he would compete and was then taking off the card after no-showing at the weigh-in for the event. Filho told Tatame.com that he pulled out due to financial reasons, and he would not fight anymore for the promotion.
Another bridge burned.
Filho’s substance issues led to one of the sport’s most bizarre and cringe-worthy fights back in November 2008 against Chael Sonnen during WEC 36, a fight originally scheduled to happen during the summer. The pair met after Filho controversially missed weight by four pounds; nullifying Sonnen’s last chance to win the WEC’s middleweight title.
When the fight began, it was an eternal fifteen minutes of hell as Filho looked confused and disoriented for much of the bout’s duration. Filho’s performance was bashed by many of the MMA media, as many wondered how Filho was cleared to fight in that sort of mental capacity.
After announcing that he would once again enter rehab, Filho – who had once been considered to be the second best middleweight fighterin the world – was dropped by Zuffa to little reaction. After exiting rehab, Filho seemed like a new fighter after leaving rehab, even defeating fearful strike Melvin Manhoef at Dream 10 in a short yet exciting fight. Filho even went on to issue a challenge to Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. With the announcement of an alliance between Dream, M—1 Global and Strikeforce it seemed like Filho was poised to prove many in the MMA world that doubted him wrong.
Then it happened…again.
When Filho did not report to Japan for his scheduled fight with Yoon Dong Sik, Filho was dropped from the fight and was replaced by Tarec Saffiedine and has yet to be booked by the promotion for a future event. Filho and his manager Ed Soares stated the reason he did not show up was due to Visa issues and that they had tried to contact Dream about this issue, and Dream countered by saying that they could not contact Filho. Two months later, Filho revealed the real reason as to why he dropped out: He was suffering from depression brought on by a sleeping pill addiction.
While Filho has only suffered one loss, the baggage that comes with his talent guarantees him that he would never be a main event fighter for any promotion in the near future. While Filho has stated the he has interest in fighting for Strikeforce, the promotion has yet to show interest in signing him. My guess is that dropping out of Dream 12 might have killed any chances of him getting signed by Strikeforce.
Ed Soares has recently stated that Filho is once again battling his personal demons and that the move to Brazil has done more bad than good.
Many have already made the comparisons that Filho is this era’s Mark Kerr, a highly talented yet flawed fighter whose demons will derail a bright career. For those who are new to MMA, go find “The Smashing Machine” and watch it. Both fighters had exceptional talent and many fans praised both fighters calling them the best in their respective division, to only have a glorious rise and fall. Kerr never reached the same level after an extensive battle with drug abuse.
Filho has attempted to crawl out of despair, but the latest setback in a once glistening career doesn’t help him.