Official Apologizes for Filho’s Dream 12 Absence

Oct 23, 2009
OSAKA, Japan -- Former World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion Paulo Filho’s personal demons may have returned.

The formerly world-ranked middleweight, for reasons unknown to Fighting and Entertainment Group officials, failed to make his scheduled flight for his bout with Dong Sik Yoon at Dream 12 “The Cage of the Rising Sun” this Sunday at Osaka Castle Hall.

Dream Event Producer Keiichi Sasahara apologized for Filho’s absence at Saturday’s weigh-in and press conference. Filho’s manager, Ed Soares, told the Brazilian was “OK” but did not elaborate. Team Quest’s Tarec Saffiedine will replace Filho on short notice.

“I was looking forward to seeing Mr. Dong Sik Yoon versus Mr. Paulo Filho, but it’s not going to happen, and I apologize for that,” Sasahara said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Paulo Filho is not available. He is not coming.”

Korean prospect Won Sik Park only had a 6.6-pound cut the day of the weigh-in but failed to shed the last 2.2 pounds in time. Brought in as part of the Deep-versus-Dream series, he faces a step up in competition against the cage-savvy Kuniyoshi Hironaka.

“I’m very honored to fight for Dream, but I would like to apologize that I didn’t make the weight,” the Korean import said. An embarrassed Park made weight an hour later, making his debut match in the promotion official.

All other fighters were present and on weight, but some had other issues.

Competing in his second bout this month, Kazushi Sakuraba felt there was a noticeable size difference between himself and opponent Zelg Galesic, despite the reading on the scales. Ever the showman, Sakuraba initially sent a stand-in to weigh-in for him while he posed off to the side for photographers.

“I stand next to Zelg, and I don’t know if we are in the same weight class,” Sakuraba said. “But anyway, we will have a good fight tomorrow.”

Tokimitsu Ishizawa was also apparently “overweight,” but rather than remove his professional-wrestling mask, he offered to discard his underwear instead. Dream official Yuji Shimada declined the offer and made his weight official at 184.8 pounds for his match with Katsuyori Shibata. While not the most compelling match on the card for most western fans, it holds a special significance for Shibata.

“Actually, Mr. Ishizawa is the reason I became a professional wrestler, so I am very honored to fight him tomorrow,” he said.

Click here for weigh-in pictures

Dream 12 “The Cage of the Rising Sun”
Sunday, Oct. 25
Osaka Castle Hall
Osaka, Japan

Alistair Overeem (253) vs. James Thompson (275)
Eddie Alvarez (153.6) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (154)
Dong Sik Yoon (184.8) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (182.6)
Kazushi Sakuraba (184.8) vs. Zelg Galesic (187)
Katsuyori Shibata (183.3) vs. Tokimitsu Ishizawa (184.8)
Marius Zaromskis (167.2) vs. Myeon Ho Bae (166.8)
Yoshiro Maeda (138.2) vs. Chase Beebe (138.6)
Kuniyoshi Hironaka (154) vs. Won Sik Park (154)
Keisuke Fujiwara (138.2) vs. Tomoya Miyashita (138.6)
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