Filho Will Defend Against Sonnen

By Josh Gross Mar 6, 2008
Despite announcing this week that he was pulling out of a March 26 WEC middleweight title defense versus Chael Sonnen (Pictures), Paulo Filho (Pictures) will put the belt up after all, the Brazilian's manager, Ed Soares, informed Thursday afternoon.

"He went through some personal issues, and he basically pulled everything together," Soares said.

Training at the Black House gym in Rio de Janeiro, Filho has been preparing with Ricardo Arona (Pictures) and Rafael Feijao. Soares said UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will join the training camp on March 17.

On Wednesday, Filho (16-0) told Brazilian MMA Web site Tatame: "I wasn't on a good moment, had depression but I'm rising now and the Americans forced me to fight now. I'm not afraid of winning or losing, but I wasn't motivated to train, wasn't training well, so I decided to do what the contract says and transferred the fight to June."

Said Soares: "During difficult times you get to see who your true friends are, and everyone is coming together to help him get ready for this fight."

The late March bout, a rematch of a December 2007 contest that Filho won when referee Josh Rosenthal stepped in after hearing what he thought was a verbal submission, is the featured fight on the live Versus telecast.

Locked in an armbar, Sonnen (19-9-1) let out a scream. After the fight had been decided, the Oregon-based wrestler denied that he wanted out of the fight.
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