It took Rousimar Palhares just 31 seconds to put his vintage leg-lock on Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29 and pick up his first win at welterweight to the delight of the Brazilian crowd. 24 hours later, the Brazilian has seen himself go from hero to zero.
Again, he has put the wrong type of attention on himself.
It was talked about by many in the MMA community after the fight. 'He's done it again' was very much the unanimous attitude within. It's not like he hasn't done it before - at UFC 111 he finished Tomsaz Drwal with his vintage heel hook, however held it on too long.
For this he received a 90 day fight ban by the New Jersey Athletic Commission. Then again, in a Jiu-Jitsu competition he repeated his actions. It seems Pierce was strike three.
There are arguments for both cutting and keeping Palhares.
Cutting Palhares, from what I've seen, seems to be a decision the majority agree with. It is not like it is a first offence the Brazilian has committed. He was warned once not just by the UFC but the New Jersey Athletic Commission.
This should be some sort of caution for him not to do it again. Palhares was not just warned by his employers but the people who sanction his fights, where he jeopardised not just his UFC contract but his career.
Palhares is a master Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who could tap anyone with his leg-lock. Surely he should know that when he has the submission fully locked it will be a matter of time before he feels a tap on his leg.
He showed a total lack of regard to his opponent Mike Pierce. With a submission like that he could cause a serious ACL injury, and we've saw how long welterweight and bantamweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Dominick Cruz where/have been out of action for.
However, when you watch the YouTube link of the breakdown of the submission, Palhares holds the submission for 1.08 seconds. Some might say that's 1.08 too long, however that is virtually no time.
Some fighters do genuinely want to guarantee their victory. One fight that really springs to mind was during The Ultimate Fighter season 14, in a match up between Akira Corassani and Dustin Neace.
Neace caught Corassani in a heel hook and it appeared that he got the tap, so let go. Yet, referee Herb Dean did not see the tap. Therefore, things like that make fighters want to make sure they win the boutt when so much is at stake.
There have two been other submissions held for too long. When Frank Mir tapped out Brock Lesnar at UFC 81 via armbar, he held the lock for way too long, at least the double amount of time Palhares did. Again, when Frank Mir broke Tim Sylvia's arm at UFC 48, it took referee Herb Dean to intervene and stop the fight. If it wasn't for Dean, Mir would have carried on.
You can too argue that hitting opponents when knocked out is just as bad as holding a submission for a little too long. Dan Henderson's highlight reel KO on Michael Bisping at UFC 100 will go down as one of the best in history.
However, his cheap shot when Bisping was out cold on the mat was disgusting. Yet, Henderson carries on fighting for the company. Was there a need on the for Dong Hyun Kim to hit Erick Silva after he was clearly out on the very next fight on the card too?
I feel the UFC need some consistency here. Yes, Palhares was wrong to hold onto the submission, but like Henderson on Bisping, he was just doing his job. Although Palhares had been punished by the Athletic Commission, there was no direct punishment from the UFC.
Dana White could have dealt with the situation better. He didn't give Palhares his Submission of the Night bonus, which is a punishment. White then should have sat the Brazilian down, took away a percentage of his fight purse and gave him a clear warning that he'll be out of a job.
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