Paulo Filho (center): Marcelo Alonso | Sherdog.com
Brazilian promotion Bitetti Combat has announced three bouts for its eighth edition on Dec. 4, a tribute card celebrating the 100th anniversary of Sao Paulo soccer club Sport Club Corinthians Paulista at the team’s home arena, Alfredo Schurig Stadium.
Wednesday, promoter Amaury Bitetti and his new partner, Fernando Chacur, announced a pair of Brazil-versus-Japan middleweight bouts, as Brazilian 185-pounders Paulo Filho and Thiago “Jambo” Goncalves meet Grabaka teammates Yuki Sasaki and Eiji Ishikawa, respectively.
In a lightweight affair, Cristiano Marcello will look to avenge his controversial May loss to Costa Rica’s Alejandro “Mandarina” Solano Rodriguez.
“We’ll put much more out there,” said Bitetti. “We'll announce more fights with international athletes and of course, with fighters from Sao Paulo.”
The Filho-Sasaki match-up was originally slated for Feb. 25’s Bitetti Combat 6 card. In a bizarre twist of events, the embattled Filho reportedly failed to appear at the weigh-ins, resulting in the cancellation of the bout.
Filho, 32, is coming off of an Oct. 23 unanimous decision loss to hot light heavyweight prospect Marcos Rogerio “Pezao” de Lima in Sao Paulo. In his first bout of 2010, the 34-year-old Sasaki was knocked out on Nov. 5 by South African Xavier Lucas in Sydney, Australia.
Goncalves is coming off a July loss to Canadian Cory MacDonald by split decision, the Brazilian’s only loss in his last 12 bouts. Ishikawa, winner of five of his last six fights, defeated South Korean A Sol Kwon in Deep in July.
Marcello and Rodriguez met at Bitetti Combat 7 in May. Marcello dominated early proceedings, but in round two, was staggered by a Rodriguez flurry. Referee Osiris Maia stopped the fight with Marcello still on his feet, seemingly unhurt, igniting controversy and paving the way for a rematch.