Brazilian fighter Paulo Filho has been forced to pull out of his fight with Hector Lombard at Bellator 18 less than seven days before the event was scheduled to take place.
The contest between former WEC middleweight champion Filho and Bellator’s current middleweight title holder Lombard was expected to be a showcase fight for Bellator but according to Graciemag issues with his visa will prevent Filho from competing.
“It seems the event took too long in sending out the letter I needed to present at the consulate and I’m not sure but it could be there was some kind of failure on the part of my managers,” Filho told the site. ” So, I won’t get my visa in time. I’m really upset because I’ve been training a lot. I did everything just right; I don’t know what to say.”
“It got me down, but I’m not going to stop training. Something good will turn up,” he added.
It’s far from the first time that the troubled fighter has pulled out of a fight at short notice in recent months. Filho failed to show up to a scheduled fight at DREAM 12 in October of last year and earlier this year he withdrew from a fight at Bitetti Combat MMA 6 due to “personal reasons.”
This is nothing new though. In fact his career has been plagued with problems, including alleged drug problems, failure to make weight for a title fight, unusual behavior inside and outside of the cage, being treated for clinical depression and recently being pictured with a prominent facial tattoo.
He does still carry an impressive MMA record of 19-1 though and had went three fights unbeaten in the past year including a win over Melvin Manhoef at DREAM 10.
If all had been well then the fight with the 25-2-1 Lombard could have been an exciting fight but it’s not to be and now Bellator will have to make alternative arrangements at short notice.