Official UFC Statement on the Release of Rousimar Palhares Following Controversial Submission

October 11, 2013
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Rousimar Palhares UFC 84-110x77As announced by UFC president Dana White, the UFC organization has elected to terminate its contract with Rousimar Palhares based on repeated incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct violating the UFC Fighter Code of Conduct and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC.

At UFC FIGHT NIGHT: MAIA vs. SHIELDS on October 9, 2013, Palhares won his welterweight bout against Mike Pierce via heel hook submission in 31 seconds. Pierce appeared to tap several times physically and verbally and the ref intervened physically before Palhares let go. Despite being the only submission win on the card, Palhares was denied the Submission of the Night bonus. Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik announced at the post-fight press conference that the local commission would be investigating the length of time that Palhares held the submission.

The controversy is not Palhares’ first: In 2010, the New Jersey State Athletic Commission suspended Palhares for 90 days following his heel hook win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 for not letting go after the referee stoppage.

In 2012, Palhares was again suspended for nine months after testing positive for elevated testosterone after UFC on FX 6.

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  • insane187288

    as much and i want to say he went to far he didnt stop tillt he ref stopped him. tapped out and i agree with a tap but dont stop till the whistle and no one will say that was stopped too soon… dude should be fined not droped

    • truthslinger

      The ref verbally tells you to stop before he jumps on you. That’s why at the beginning of the fights they say “obey my commands at all times” And the ref was kinda out of position but he still held it for 3 seconds after the ref was physically trying to stop him.

    • Charles

      Problem is, this isn’t his first or second time in his career. The UFC doesn’t have this problem with ANY other fighter but it occurs multiple times for 1 fighter.

      I hate it that he got dropped, no other leg lock guy out there to watch now, but completely understand.

    • Patriot

      Watch the video on the reversal angle before he lets go he torques as hard as he can on Pierce’s knee. It was intentional and blatant. The guy must have a screw loose or something he’s done this before in MMA as well as at ADCC.

    • Spottmann

      If it had been basically any other situation he wouldn’t have even been fined.

      I’m not defending him- the opposite in fact. He picked probably the most painful move to keep locked in. 1.8secs will probably screw up how Pierce walks for the next year. He could easily have snapped his ACL in those that time. I would rather take 1.8secs of GNP from prime Fedor than have Paul Harris torquing my knee.

      At best he is a one trick pony, and the only loss as a result from him being cut will be to Palhares himself. He absolutely screwed himself and has no-one else to blame

  • Bots

    Look at the replay. The ref literally humped and had to pry him away

    • Jay Magallon

      Agreed. “Humped”. I love it. Next time I’m watching fights and I see the ref dive onto a fighter to end it, I’m say he humped the loser to safety. I’m really doing that.

  • Bots


    • Jay Magallon

      I liked “humped” better.

  • Mike mckinney

    I’m sure the UFC had some conversation with palharres about this issue. It’s hard to judge what’s going on without knowing what both parties have communicated to eachother.

  • KyleZombie

    It wasn’t about the amount of time that he held on to the sub, it was the extra crank he gave it when the ref was trying to pry him off. It was a dick move, and the ban is totally justified as it was not his first offense.

    • Ian Price

      Right. He could have just held it, or even eased up a little…. And held for an extra 5 seconds even. Yeah even that would have been better than what he did.

  • Big Tuna

    No room for that in a sport filled with gentleman. Sometimes when our sports flow into other countries they play dirty, it happens a lot in baseball…

    • Rafael

      “our sports”?! LOL. MMA Doesn’t belong to USA you dumb…even started there.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Good call Dana. Don’t lose a wink of sleep over this decision.

  • Ian Price

    He’s a one trick pony. He’s really good at his one trick, so it does put him in top ten, maybe top 6 or 7 at welterweight. But we are definitely not missing out on a future title contender here.

    Good riddance.