Former UFC welterweight, Rousimar Palhares, was recently cut from the organization due to unsportsmanlike conduct in his fight against Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29. Palhares, a world-renowned leg lock specialist, submitted Pierce in just 31 seconds via heel hook.
Usually, a performance like that would yield a hefty submission of the night bonus and accolades from the MMA community. Unfortunately, this was not the case due to Palhares holding on to the submission for too long. Moments after the heel hook was locked in, Pierce was screaming in agonizing pain as he tapped out multiple times. Palhares simply did not let the submission go, even when the referee jumped in. When Palhares finally let go, it was too little too late. The damage had already been done to Pierce’s leg and Palhares’s career.
Pierce suffered a severe MCL sprain from the incident, and Palhares was cut by the UFC and was not granted his submission of the night bonus. Palhares denied trying to hurt Pierce and said he was shocked by his release. In the aftermath of the incident, Palhares’s former coach, Murilo Bustamante, said the Palhares would hurt sparring partners in training. Then Bellator and World Series of Fighting said that Palhares would not be welcomed to fight in their respective organizations either. In a matter of a few days, Palhares was black listed among the MMA community.
Palhares finally admitted his transgressions while talking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour. Here is a portion of what he had to say (courtesy of BloodyElbow):
‘I did not want to hurt him,” Palhares said through his manager/interpreter, Alex Davis. “In the heat of the fight, I didn’t feel him tap. Afterwards, when I watched the fight, I’d realized that I’d held on too long. But I really didn’t mean to hurt him, you know? He’s a fighter like I am, and I know that he does this for a living, and I’d never want to hurt him.’
Will Palhares ever get a shot to show that he has learned his lesson? Will he ever fight in a big promotion again? Sound off in the comments below.