Paulo Filho and his ugly tattoo won with an armbar over Melvin Manhoef at Dream 10 today. Was it an impressive win? See for yourself. (Skip ahead to the 3:00 mark to actually see the fight begin.)
In his first fight back after his bizarre, overweight loss to Chael Sonnen in the WEC and second stint in rehab, Filho looked better, to be sure. He was engaging, made weight, and well, he won, but after watching that fight, would you still consider him a top middleweight, as many did just one year ago?
Of course not. His standup was shaky to put it nicely. Manhoef knocked Filho down early, and the former WEC champ seemed to be in trouble, succumbing to a barrage of Manhoef's strikes. His first several takedown attempts were stuffed. He ended the fight well, showing flashes of the Filho who submitted Kazuo Misaku and Ryo Chonan back during Pride, but he was hardly an overwhelming force.
This fight raises more questions about Filho. Will he ever get back to top form? Has he truly gotten the past the issues that put him in rehab in the first place? Will he ever fight in the United States again?
The only thing that will answer all of these questions is time, but one thing is for sure. Though Filho's performance wasn't amazing at Dream 10, the fact that he won at all is a good sign for his future.