Former WEC middleweight champ Paulo Filho will likely face Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba at Bitetti Combat 6, which takes place on February 25 in Brasilia, Brazil. Filho’s trainer, Josuel Distak, confirmed the likely matchup with Tatame on Monday.
Filho (19-1), a PRIDE veteran, failed to make weight and dropped what would have been a title fight to Chael Sonnen in his first career loss in November 2008 after spending time in substance abuse rehab, but bounced back with a victory over Melvin Manhoef in DREAM and wins over Alex Schoenauer and Tatsuhiko Nishizaka in Bitetti.
Sakuraba (26-11-1) won the UFC’s Ultimate Japan title in 1997 to begin his career, then competed exclusively for PRIDE from 1998 through 2005, before competing for K-1 and, most-recently DREAM. After losing back-to-back fights to Manhoef and Kiyoshi Tamura in 2008, Sakuraba rebounded in 2009 with wins over Rubin Williams and Zelg Galesic.
Pictured: Paulo Filho