Paulo Filho Fights over Contract with World Series of Fighting
Former WEC middleweight champion and PRIDE veteran, Paulo Filho, is currently in the middle of a three round fight for his contract against the World Series of Fighting and it’s president, Ray Sefo. Filho is stating that even though he signed a multi-fight contract with WSOF in early 2013, a lackluster three-round performance against David Branch in March must have left a sour taste in Sefo’s mouth and he was not given another shot to perform under the organization’s banner.
According to an interview with MMAFighting.com, Filho is ready to fight and prove himself a top tier competitor once again, but was just set back by injuries at the time of his last WSOF bout.
“The whole Ray Sefo thing was a misunderstanding. He didn’t like my fight? OK, no problem. I was injured and he should have known that. I have all the exams to prove it. But I went there and fought, I did my part. I’m not what they saw, I’m better than that and they know it.”
Filho feels as though he should either get another shot, or that he should receive the remainder of the money promised in his contract to sit out from the organization.
“My contract has an interesting clause, with good numbers,” Filho said. “If one of the sides wants to end the contract, they have to pay big money. But if they don’t want me there, that’s fine. Pay me what you have to pay and I’ll just go home to relax (laughs).”
However, according to WSOP executive vice president, Ali Abdel-Aziz, Filho has already made some moves that are complicating the arrangements of his contract. Because Filho fought in August of 2013 for Selva MMA in Brazil and is set to fight Andre Muniz for Bitetti Combat on February 6th, he is violating a currently still valid contract by fighting for other organizations.
“Legally, he should not fight at any other event but us because he’s under a contract with us,” Abdel-Aziz told MMAFighting.com. “If he needs to fight and support his family, he can do that, but he never asked for our permission. I never gave him permission to fight anywhere,” states Abdel-Aziz.
As of right now, the organization feels as though they do not owe Filho anything, and are currently not interested in having him fight for the organization anytime soon, though there did seem to be some light wiggle room for a return later if both parties can get back on the same page.
“If I know he’s training and he’s focused, maybe. I don’t know,” Abdel-Aziz said. “He didn’t ask for our permission for this fight and that’s something I’m going to have to talk with him about. We have to honor our contracts. We’re men. If we need him in Brazil, I’ll use him, but for now I don’t have any interest in having him fighting for us again.”