Controversial former UFC fighter Rousimar Palhares will make his World Series Of Fighting debut in the main event of WSOF 9 on March 29th.
The Brazilian fighter finds himself being launched into an immediate title shot against current WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl .
Carl won the title back in October of last year after defeating another former UFC fighter Josh Burkman by a fourth round triangle choke submission.
That was the former Bellator fighter’s third victory in a row for the World Series Of Fighting promotion and extended his current unbeaten run to seven fights.
Palhares was evicted from the UFC in October after his welterweight debut in which he failed to let go of a heel hook submission finish against Mike Pierce after his opponent had tapped.
‘Toquinho’ already had a reputation for this behaviuor which had previously lead to a lengthy suspension back in 2010 when he didn’t let go of a heel hook against Tomasz Drwal. Together with a positive test for elevated levels of testerone at the end of 2012, which also resulted in a suspension, this was the final straw for the UFC.
Initially the fighter experienced significant backlash from other high profile promotions as a result of his actions, with Bellator and even World Series Of FIghting ruling themselves out of signing him, but after letting the dust settle WSOF relented and offered him a spot on the roster.
The fact that he’s now been given an immediate title shot, essentially rewarding him despite his bad behaviour, won’t sit comfortably with some observers, and may anger other WSOF fighters like Jon Fitch who previously went on record as saying he would refuse to fight Palhares.
On the other hand, there’s no doubting he’s a talented fighter who could make a big impact in the promotion if he can stay on the straight and narrow, and no doubt WSOF will be hoping the controversy surrounding him will help generate significant interest in this event as they look to further establish themselves as a major player in the MMA scene.