Tue Mar 30 08:15am EDT
We often hear about the brotherhood, respect and sportsmanship exhibited in mixed martial arts. So what happened with Rousimar Palhares on Saturday? The Brazilian caught Tomasz Drwal in a vicious hook and wouldn't let go even when the referee stepped in to save Drwal. Another second or two, and Palhares finally released the hold. He jumped up to celebrate and eventually leapt to the top of the cage. Meanwhile, Drwal was in severe pain on the ground. Unlike many commissions around the country, New Jersey acted swiftly and handed Palhares a 90-day suspension.
“When a referee’s in there pulling three times and the other fighter’s tapping… I think everybody knows, regardless of language issues or anything, at that point the referee’s trying to stop the fight,” the New Jersey Athletic Control Board's Nick Lembo told Sherdog.com.
"A referee should not have to use that much force to release a heel (hook)," Lembo wrote.
The Palhares camp didn't exactly beg for mercy.
"When Rousimar catches a position, he wants to make sure he holds on to it, that’s the main thing," said Palhares manager Alex Davis. "It was the very first minute of the fight, that’s when the adrenaline’s pumping and you know what, a fighter isn’t really all there. The adrenaline is not making him think right. He’s closing his eyes and he wants to finish."
The New Jersey Athletic Control Board reviewed past incidents against Flavio Luiz Moura (4:35 mark) and Helio Dipp (2:00 mark).
Davis said those fights were completely different scenarios. They look very similar to us. If those fights had been with the UFC, the guy would have a terrible reputation and may have gotten his walking papers on Saturday night. It's clear that he keeps the submissions on way too long. What's the intent, other than to inflict serious damage?
Davis came up with the weak excuse that it's difficult for non-fighters to understand what happens in a fighter's mind.
"It’s easy to say that when you’ve never grappled. It’s one thing to look at a fight from the outside and it’s another thing to be in there," said Davis. "I know that Rousimar didn’t have any bad intentions."
The suspension isn't much of a penalty because it's unlikely that Palhares was going to be scheduled again in the next three months unless he was an injury fill-in. That said, something had to be done. In the past, Renato "Babalu" Sobral was sent packing by the UFC for holding a choke too long on David Heath. That said, Babalu admitted after the fight that he did it on purpose plus he was on the downside of his career. With Palhares, opponent's beware, the guy doesn't appear to be learning his lesson.
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