Filho Refutes Addiction Claim, Plans Retirement Pending KSW Bout

By Mike Whitman Oct 20, 2011
Paulo Filho’s alleged battle with substance abuse appeared to take a turn for the worse on Wednesday, when Brazilian outlet Portal do Vale Tudo posted a letter written by his former manager, Rodrigo Gripp de Sousa.

In a letter written to the Brazilian outlet, De Sousa claimed Filho (Pictured, File Photo) was still actively addicted to Rophynol, a strong sedative and muscle relaxer. De Sousa speculated that, if the fighter did not seek hospitalization, his life could be in danger. The letter was posted following PVT’s interview with Filho on Monday, during which the fighter asserted he was no longer taking Rophynol and that he had been clean for a month following a period of treatment.

Filho told on Wednesday that allegations of a current addiction are false, claiming that a money dispute between he and De Sousa could be one of the reasons behind his former manager’s comments. Both men claim they are owed money by the other, with Filho claiming he was denied three of his fight purses. Though De Sousa stated in his letter that he is not seeking repayment, he offered a considerable list of expenses incurred on the fighter’s behalf, in addition to the time and energy spent trying to help Filho through the alleged addiction.

In light of these reports, Filho’s upcoming bout with Mamed Khalidov at KSW 17 was rumored to be in jeopardy. In his interview with Tatame, Filho asserted that if his Nov. 26 fight with Khalidov goes down as planned, that it would be his last.

“I’m choosing retirement, man. I may fight [Khalidov] in November because I already signed the contract. After that, I will retire. I don’t want this anymore,” Filho said. “I’m kind of disappointed with this stuff, fighting and not getting paid. I don’t want people comforting me; I just want what is mine. That’s the third time I [have fought] and not [gotten] paid. I was the threatened with death by people I owe.” contacted KSW officials on Wednesday for comment on the status of Filho’s bout with Khalidov.

“We really believe -- like everybody -- that Paulo will be in better shape in November. That is all we can say,” wrote KSW Co-Owner Maciej Kawulski in an email. “If [Filho] decides to finish his career before that, we will prepare [a deserving] replacement. You can be sure of that.”

Formerly considered one of the world’s best middleweights during his stint in the defunct Pride Fighting Championships, Filho has been inconsistent since his departure from that organization. After winning the vacant WEC 185-pound title in 2007, Filho exhibited what appeared to be a lack of energy and effort in two fights with Chael Sonnen, the first of which he won with a second-round armbar after sustaining serious damage.

After failing to make weight and losing decisively to Sonnen in a non-title rematch, Filho has fought regularly over the last three years with varying results. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is winless in his last three outings, as the 33-year-old dropped decisions to Ronny Markes and Norman Paraisy before drawing with Satoshi Ishii at Amazon Forest Combat on Sept. 14.
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