Brazilian Rousimar Palhares won his fight at the UFC Fight Night 29 event against Mike Pierce in about 30 seconds via heelhook. It was his debut at 170 lbs for the organization, and the fast submission probably meant the coveted ‘Submission of the Night’ bonus check, so Palhares had reason to feel great as he left the octagon having had his hand raised. And then at some point after, the world came crashing in on Palhares as the result of his holding the finishing move too long, and he was not only without a bonus, he is now without a job.
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UFC President Dana White announced yesterday that Palhares’ contract had been terminated by the UFC. Palhares had been suspended before for similar actions, and he also had a black mark of a positive test for high testosterone, so despite coming off a win and with an overall 8-4 mark in the UFC, Palhares is gone.
The UFC and White are probably right in their management of this situation. The truth is, for a high paced, testosterone laced sport, that the UFC and it’s athletes generally conduct themselves very well, so the UFC wants to appear harsh and come down on any incidents as a warning to the rest of the 400 plus men and women on the roster.
Because of this, Palhares is likely on a lifetime UFC ban, in other words we wont see him in that company again. Many who know Palhares describe a humble, hard working fighter who meant no harm. He was just acting in the heat of the battle. It is a bad tendency to show, so will Bellator take the risk?
It will be interesting to see if Bellator bites on Palhares. Bellator has been hanging out in White’s trash can looking for talent lately, and Palhares is an explosive fighter who is dangerous to anyone. The truth is all the nonsense aside, I would be interested to see Palhares vs Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, as Askren hasn’t faced a guy with Rousimar’s size or his ability to threaten. With Askren likely gone from the roster, Palhares would come right in and likely be in the title hunt after a tournament win, so he would add to Bellator’s talent pool.
The question is, will Palhares do it again? The message has been sent. Truthfully, Mike Kyle has gotten multiple chances for worse actions, and there are other examples.