Paulo Filho

In his prime, Paulo Filho was a major fighter, competing for the likes of PRIDE and WEC while amassing a 20-1 record, but he was also a deeply troubled man.

“[Depression] is complicated because it is considered a rich people’s disease, but it drags you down,” Filho told mmafighting.com in 2017. “So you try to find ways to beat this disease, medicine, drugs, alcohol.”

Filho has pinpointed cocaine in particular as being a big problem for him.

“At first it lifts you up, but then when you go back down, the depression becomes tougher and stronger to a point that you consider taking your own life.”

For a long time Filho’s life seemed like a never-ending trainwreck of excessive partying and drug abuse, during which time he had multiple car accidents, was shot in the leg and had frequent suicidal thoughts.

His career imploded too as he ballooned up to as high as 245lbs, fought high on cocaine and once withdrew from a fight before it started after suffering a panic attack, but in recent years he’s attempted overcome his demons and teach martial arts.

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