Paulo Filho Removed From Dream.12 CardWith less than 48 hours to go before the event, former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo “Ely” Filho has been removed from the upcoming Olympia Dream.12 card for reasons unknown. Filho’s scheduled opponent, Dong Sik Yoon, will still compete on the card.

Filho has lost just once in his career, but entered a tumultuous time during his WEC tenure. He battled depression and an addiction to painkillers and later checked himself into a rehabilitation facility after losing to Chael Sonnen in a non-title bout.

Filho (18-1-0) won his first 14 fights and likely would have captured the 2006 PRIDE Welterweight (183-Pound) Grand Prix, but injury prevented him from competing in the finals. Following the demise of PRIDE, Filho joined World Extreme Cagefighting and battled Joe Doerksen for the vacant WEC Middleweight Championship at WEC 29.

Though Filho was victorious in the fight, he did not look like his former dominant self and that became even more clear in his first title defence against Sonnen. After being dominated by Sonnen for nearly two full rounds, Filho secured an armbar with mere seconds left in round two and the referee erroneously believed that Sonnen had verbally submitted.

The pair were slated for a rematch, but Filho initially withdrew. They finally met for a second time at WEC 36, but Filho, the champion, badly missed weight and the fight was changed to a non-title bout. Sonnen easily won a decision over a disinterested Filho and Filho checked himself into rehab soon after.


Since that time, Filho had aimed to resurrect his career and survived an onslaught of strikes to submit feared knockout artist “Marvellous” Melvin Manhoef at Dream.10. He most recently picked up a lacklustre decision win over former IFL mainstay Alex Schoenauer in Brazil in a fight that many felt should have gone Schoenauer’s way.

While the cause of Filho’s removal from Dream.12 is still unknown, his recent past suggests that bigger problems could still be present and Filho’s health must come before his career.


Yoon (4-7-0) has had the epitome of a rollercoaster career thus far, and he has fought high-level competition at every step of the way.

After losing his first four fights – to Kazushi Sakuraba, Makoto Takimoto, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Murilo Bustamante, respectively – Yoon rebounded with four straight wins over Melvin Manhoef, Zelg Galesić, Fabio Silva and Shungo Oyama.

However, he has since dropped three in a row; losing to the likes of Gegard Mousasi, Andrews Nakahara and Jesse Taylor. Yoon needs an impressive win to get his career back on-track.


His last-minute opponent will be Belgium’s Tarec “The Sponge” Saffiedine (7-1-0), who is coming off of a decision victory over Japanese veteran Seichi Ikemoto at Dream.10.

Saffiedine will look to continue his winning ways in DREAM at the expense of Yoon, but only time will tell whether Saffiedine is ready for the fight on such short notice.

Olympia Dream.12 takes place Saturday night at 11:00 P.M. Pacific (2:00 A.M. Eastern) and airs live on HDNet. will be providing live play-by-play of the event.