World Series of Fighting Has No Interest in Signing Exiled UFC Fighter Rousimar Palhares

October 21, 2013
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Rousimar Palhares UFC 84-110x77Rousimar Palhares was recently fired by the UFC and suspended by the Brazilian Athletic Commission on MMA (CABMMA) following his win over Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29 on Oct. 9 in Brazil.

His termination and 120-day suspension stem from Palhares failing to immediately release the heel hook hold that he used to finish Pierce 31 seconds into the opening round. Pierce tapped out and the referee jumped in to stop the fight before Palhares eventually released the hold.

Pierce reportedly suffered ligament damage to his left knee and ankle as a result.

Palhares was also suspended for 90 days for a similar incident following his UFC 111 bout with Tomasz Drwal. He finished Drwal with his patented heel hook, but failed to release the hold in a timely fashion.

Despite the UFC terminating his contract and CABMMA’s suspension, many in the social media sphere seemed to think a fighter of Palhares’ caliber would quickly emerge with a new promotion, but that may not happen as quickly as many thought.

One significant promotion that is taking a hands-off approach to Palhares is the MMA World Series of Fighting, whose president, Ray Sefo, said on Monday that they currently have no interest in signing him.

“His past is not good,” explained Sefo. “The team and I have talked about it. He needs to probably seek some sort of help or talk to somebody, a psychiatrist or whatever, that can help him get away from hurting fighters.

“Until he does that, we won’t look at signing him anytime soon or anything like that.”

Former UFC title contender and current WSOF welterweight Jon Fitch is in full agreement with the stance of his current employers, pointing out that Palhares’ reputation for not releasing the dangerous submission stretches outside his time in the Octagon.

Fitch said he would not accept a fight with Palhares unless he first proves that he has changed his ways.

“He would have to definitely prove that he is no longer out there trying to cripple people after the fight is over,” said Fitch.

Fitch pointed to his own teammate, Mike Kyle, who was rightfully condemned for continuing to punch and kick Brian Olsen after the referee tried to stop their WEC fight in May of 2006.

Kyle has since cleaned up his act and continued his fighting career without further incidents of that nature.

Fitch said that for Palhares, however, there is too much of a history of incidents to take the fighter at his word that he never intended to hurt Pierce, and that it wouldn’t happen again.

“For Palhares, it seems to be a recurring thing,” said Fitch. “It’s happened twice in the UFC, and in his grappling matches it’s happened a number of times.

“It’s just not what our sport is. I mean, we’re trying to beat each other up, but when somebody concedes and gives up, you don’t continue to crank on the submissions. You can end somebody’s career that way. It’s just uncalled for.”

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  • bajafox

    I’m sure Bellator will pick him up, I don’t think their standards as high as WSOF or UFC.

    Nothing against War Machine, I like him, but he wouldn’t last a day under UFC’s regulations of having their fighters act a certain way. At least he acknowledges it

    • Milosc

      Bellator said “no” first

      • bajafox

        Hadn’t seen or read that…

        We’ll see in a few months when his suspension is up, I can already see him in next years WW tourney

        • Manuel Lopez

          No. Bellator is not interested either. This guy is a liability and every organization knows it. Besides he isn’t that talented (as some here claim). He doesn’t know how to win without going for the heels and he’s been knocked out twice!

      • Seth

        They said they won’t sign ANY ex-UFC fighter. Now they host Tito/Rampage sh*t on their so-called PPV. You really want to believe what Viacom says?

        • bajafox

          They also had Paul Daley before he had visa and legal issues

          • Gary Fredericks

            They have Ben Saunders and a few others presently, aside Rampage and Cheeko Ortiz.

        • Milosc

          Rebney stated it specifically to Lombard, because of the submission incident, the day after UFC fn

  • WickedTKO

    I’m not surprised by his exile from the UFC and that no other promotion wants to touch this guy. It’s unfortunate because he’s a super talented fighter, with inexcusable octagon behavior. The UFC did the right thing by ripping up his contract… similar to how Palhares has been ripping fighters ligaments. You get what your reap.

    • Kbroesq

      I’m sorry, but he’s not a talented fighter. He’s a one-trick-pony, and he’s a little baby. The guy fights dirty, and accuses almost everyone who beats him of fighting dirty. He’s a sore loser and an even worse winner. I agree with you that he’s getting what he deserves.

      I just flat our refuse to call any fighter who continuously and predictably dives at your legs all fight (even if he’s successful sometimes) a ‘talented fighter.’ He’s a talented leg lock specialist.

  • I would love Roussimar and Jon Fitch. The guy has had past issues and did explain himself but if he proves himself to be better behaved he should get another chance in some promotion. Another incident and I could understand his license being pulled.

    • Darin

      He’s had enough chances. His fighting days should be over. If he someday figures out what his problem is and corrects it, he can use that knowledge to train others and help them to not make the same mistakes.

      If I were running a fight organization I wouldn’t touch this guy. Just imagine: if it is some small time org., Palhares will become champ….then what? You have a champ that nobody wants to fight because they don’t want their leg torn off. If one of the second tier orgs like WSOF or Bellator takes him, they could lose other good fighters.

      Palhares was never an exciting or interesting fighter. He throws himself to the floor and snatches feet, that’s it. His only fights in the UFC I enjoyed are the ones where his leg grabbin’ didn’t work and he got pummelled – i.e. Marquardt and Belcher.

      • onehitwonder

        love the pummelled comment, it’s so true.

      • Well he did this to himself. I think it also has to do with the fact he came up for elevated testosterone levels as well with the Lombard fight. So this is really his third incident. I would just like to see other fighters get a chance to take him on. You may not like his still but that doesn’t change the his resume and the he’s a good name to have as a win.

    • The Best Eva

      Ya completely agree there is no room for putting other fighters careers at risk with such a little thing.

      He’s going to have to be careful because the next few years he’ll be under a microscope.

  • The Best Eva

    He’s kind of a goon and puts an organization at risk with his behavior. That said he is a good fighter and should land somewhere even if he has to take some time off to clear his name a little bit.

  • Miguel de la Pena

    Glad to hear he got cut. He should’ve been cut sooner. I hope I never see this guy compete in any combat sport again. Like the shirt says, with great heel hooks comes great responsibility – this clown has none and should stick to crippling his gym buddies.