Below you’ll find a selection of reactions from those involved in the biggest talking point of the week – Rousimar Palhares’ release from the UFC after appearing to have held on to a heel hook submission against Mike Pierce after the fight was over.
“This is the second incident we’ve had with Palhares where he had the lock and he didn’t let it go. Finally he let it go, but I’m going to cut him. He’s done.”
Official UFC Statement:
“As 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.”
“I never meant to hurt anyone, as a jiu-jitsu fighter I always seek for the submission, but I would never be evil to any athlete.
I always respect the @UFC decisions, but most of most I respect a lot Mike Pierce, so again I never meant to hurt him, just finish the fight.”
Alex Davis (Rousimar Palhares’ Manager):
“We have talked about it at length. 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.”
“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.”
“I’m just really pissed off right now.”
Brazilian MMA Commission:
“After detailed analysis of the conduct of Rousimar Palhares in his bout, at the event “UFC Fight Night” held on October 9, 2013 at the City of Barueri (SP), we communicate the suspension of the athlete for a period of 120 (one hundred and twenty) days, counted as from the end of the period of his medical suspension. The determination of the suspension period considered, among other aspects, the fact that this is not his first anti sportsmanship attitude of the same nature.”