Less than 24 hours after Rousimar Palhares hung on to a heel hook submission too long in a victory over Mike Pierce at a card in Brazil, Palhares is now on the unemployment line.
UFC president Dana White cut Palhares Thursday, announcing it during an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schapp.
Cutting Palhares was really the only option White had. Not cutting him would have left the UFC looking like a renegade outfit where fighters could get vigilante justice.
Here is a transcript of White's exchange with Schapp:
JS: Last night, there was kind of an ugly incident at one of your fight night events. Rousimar Palhares, he had his opponent in an ankle lock. His opponent tapped out and Palhares wouldn't let go. We can see it here (Showing a still photo of Pierce submitting). Is that the kind of incident that gives your league and your sport a bad name and that bolsters the case of the attorney general in a place like New York?
DW: No. I mean, if you ever watch a UFC event, the camaraderie, the sportsmanship is amazing in this sport. You know, we had an incident with a guy named Paul Daley from England, who hit somebody after the fight was over. The fight was over and everybody was in the corner waiting for the decision and he went over and hit the guy. We cut him. He'll never fight in the UFC ever again.
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 yeah, I'm going to cut him, too.
JS: You're going to cut him? This is it? You're saying here right now on the record, not just a suspension, he's done?
DW: He's done.
JS: He's done.
Later, the UFC posted a statement on its website, pointing out its reasoning for cutting Palhares. In addition to holding onto the submission too long against Pierce, it noted that he was suspended for a similar infraction against Tomasz Drwal in 2010. In addition, the statement pointed out that Palhares had tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in 2012.
By all accounts, Palhares is a good guy, but he has a history of such infractions and that's the type of violation that could cause serious injury. It also could impact the future success of the sport.
It's sad to see him lose his job, but this was a case where he brought it on himself and there was nothing else White could do.
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- Martial Arts
- Dana White
- Rousimar Palhares
- Mike Pierce