WSOF’s new welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares will put his belt on the line against another former UFC Fighter Jon Fitch in the main event of WSOF 16 on December 13th.
The fight had originally been scheduled to take place in July, but Palhares pulled out not through injury, but rather because he wanted time off to care for his mother who was ill at the time.
Palhares had won the 170lb title in his WSOF debut after defeating the previous champion Steve Carl with a trademark (inverted) heel hook submission just 69 seconds into the fight.
He had won his previous fight, which took place in the UFC, with a heel hook too against Mike Pierce, but was subsequently released from the promotion after being adjudged to have held onto the submission for too long after the fight ended – something he had ran into trouble with several times in the past.
Palhares’ reputation was in tatters after the incident, to the extent that some fighters, including Jon Fitch, indicated that they’d refuse to fight him due to his lack of respect and sportsmanship towards his fellow competitors.
However, when Palhares then signed for WSOF too, Fitch had a change in heart, and no doubt the fact that ‘Toquinho’ has the belt around his waist served as a strong incentive to fight him.
Considered one of the UFC’s top welterweights for many years, Fitch was released in early 2013 after a loss to Demian Maia and quickly found a new home at World Series Of Fighting.
He was one of the promotion’s biggest name signings at the time, but his debut didn’t go according to plan, suffering a first round guillotine choke submission loss to Josh Burkman (who incidentally signed signed with the UFC last week).
That left Fitch with just one win his last five fights, a remarkable reversal of fortunes for a fighter who prior to that had only lost once in the eight years prior to that.
He has since turned things around though, earning a split decision win over Marcelo Alfaya in October of last year before taking a fight at 185lbs in July of this year against another veteran campaigner Dennis Hallman who he defeated by unanimous decision.