Talk about having an awful week.
Rousimar Palhares woke up Wednesday morning feeling great. He was making his debut as welterweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) against Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29: 'Maia vs. Shields'. He looked like an absolute beast when he entered the cage and it was clear that he'd found the right weight class.
But then Palhares did as Palhares has done numerous times in his mixed martial arts (MMA) and grappling careers: he sunk in a leg lock and cranked it even after his opponent tapped and referee dove in to stop the fight.
His was the only submission on the card but due to the blatant unsportsmanlike conduct, the UFC decided to punish Palhares by not awarding him "Submission of the Night" honors and the $50,000 check that came with it. Dana White said that there would be an additional punishment. Palhares' manager said not giving him the check was punishment enough.
Unfortunately, that punishment was being released from the promotion with White saying it was a "lifelong ban." The Brazilian commission suspended him, but their jurisdiction only applies to the UFC, not Jungle Fights or Shooto.
"Risks already exist for the courageous, world class fighters who enter the Bellator cage; without adding further unnecessary risks into the mix. Fighter safety is paramount to me and my team."
Palhares is at a crossroads in his career. Hopefully he can step away from competition for a bit and recognize the faults in his mindset with fighting and grappling. Even if he can find a new home, it's doubtful that opponents will want to risk permanent injury by facing him in a ring or cage.