Rousimar Palhares to Face Additional Punishment, Camp Denies Malice in Submission Win Over Mike Pierce
With a history of questionable actions inside the UFC, Rousimar Palhares’ submission victory over Mike Pierce at ‘UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields’ looked a little over-aggressive to many fans. Palhares’ manager, Alex Davis, says that it is not ‘out of malice… [i]t’s unconscious.’
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
In typical fashion Wednesday night, Rousimar Palhares was able to quickly grab hold of one of Mike Pierce’s leg and lock in one of his infamous heel-hooks. Pierce was forced to tap, and the referee called the fight at just 31 seconds into the first round.
It’s what happened after the tap that left many fans and UFC officials unhappy with Palhares. Despite a number of verbal and literal taps from opponent Mike Pierce and the intervention of referee Keith Peterson, Palhares held onto the leg lock for what seemed like an unnecessarily prolonged time.
It was enough for the UFC to make Palhares ineligible to receive a $50,000 bonus for Submission of the Night despite his efforts securing the night’s only submission victory.
UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik stated after the fight that Palhares’ history in the UFC played a factor in the decision to withhold the fighter’s bonus.
“Obviously there’s been a bit of a history with ‘Toquinho’ and how long he’s held submissions in the past,” Zelaznik stated. “He’s had some controversial issues surrounding some of the submissions.”
This history, of course, is stacked against Palhares. He was suspended for 90 days following another very similar incident where he submitted Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 and refused to let go of his opponent’s leg while referee Kevin Mulhall intervened. He also served a 90-day suspension after failing a drug test at UFC on FX 6.
Palhares’ manager, Alex Davis, says that Rousimar is not doing any of this intentionally.
“The one thing I can certify is that Rousimar does not hold on to a sub out of malice. It’s unconscious, a mix of adrenaline and years of being conditioned to not let go… That said, we need to keep working on it. Rousimar used to hurt people in training, but he has become very controlled now. Now we need to work on the fights, work on keeping him conscious rather than just automatic.”
While the athletic commission in Brazil investigates the fight, Davis pointed out that Palhares’ actions were no different and no more dangerous than Dong Hyun Kim’s finish of Erick Silva a finish that is seen quite often in MMA.
“Kim hit an obviously unconscious Erick Silva. It is a different situation in the fact that with Kim, the referee had not stepped in yet, but it was similar in the fact that both Rousimar’s hesitation to let go and Kim’s last punch were after the opponent had already been finished.”
More than anything, however, Davis said that while further sanctions from CABMMA, the Brazilian commission, and the UFC are to be expected, he feels Palhares has been punished enough.
“It might be hard for people to understand that don’t know Rousimar personally, but I’m telling you, he holds on out of instinct. He only realizes it afterward. But I think that the UFC has already deprived him of an obvious $50,000 bonus for ‘Submission of the Night.’ That should be enough, I think.”
That isn’t enough for the UFC however. After the fight UFC President Dana White told MMAFighting.com that Palhares would face ‘an additional punishment,’ though White would not elaborate on what that punishment would entail.