The tumultuous career of Paulo Filho almost took another turn for the worse this week.
According to sources close to the Brazilian fighter, Filho, the former WEC middleweight champion, suffered a panic attack on Tuesday, just as he was getting set to fly to Atlantic City, N.J., for his World Series of Fighting 2 bout against David Branch.
As a result, Filho missed his flight, and at one point, WSOF officials had to consider pulling him from the card. On Wednesday, though, Filho confirmed that he was on a plane headed to New Jersey, so as of Wednesday fight, the Filho vs. Branch fight is still on.
The 34-year-old Filho (23-4-2) was once considered one of the best middleweights in a world. However, since missing weight prior to a WEC title fight against Chael Sonnen in 2008, he has dealt with a litany of issues. Not only did he lose the bout in a bizarre, out-of-character performance, he has since battled serious drug and mental issues, not to mention visa issues.
While he squandered an opportunity to fight for Bellator in 2010, the WSOF opportunity will mark his first fight in North America since the Sonnen fight five years ago.
WSOF 2, headlined by Andrei Arlovski vs. Anthony Johnson, will air live on NBC Sports Network Saturday night.