MMA Quick Quote: Jon Fitch would 'turn down' fight with Rousimar Palhares

Mark Kolbe

Rousimar Palhares may be considered one of the most dangerous submission artists on the planet. But, sometimes that reputation means that fighters just won't feel comfortable competing with him. Consider Jon Fitch one of those men.

"It was a second offense," said Fitch. "Holding onto a submission too long, especially with a joint lock like that. You're talking about ending someone's career potentially. I think it was the right move (to release him). I personally wouldn't accept a fight with [Palhares] because of those. One time maybe, but not twice. I would never even compete against him honestly. If he's got that long of a history of holding onto them too long, his career should probably be done because no one should take a fight with him or a grappling match with him for that matter. It would be the first time in my career that I turned down a fight."

-- Jon Fitch recently spoke with former MMA Mania correspondent Brian Hemminger and the Rousimar Palhares's submission victory over Mike Pierce came up. Palhares needed just 31 seconds to lock in a heel hook and force Pierce to let out a yell as he tapped out. It would have earned the Brazilian "Submission of the Night" honors had he not held on to the leg lock well past the tap and referee's stoppage. What makes it worse is that it wasn't the first time that Palhares has found himself in the center of controversy. He did the same when he fought Tomas Drwal in New Jersey, where he was suspended by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) and in submission grappling match at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club world championships. Palhares has maintained his innocence, saying that he's not a dirty fighter and doesn't mean to hurt his opponents. That Jon Fitch, who has a reputation for being one of the toughest fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) has publicly stated he wouldn't accept a fight with Palhares if it was offered is very telling. It doesn't matter if Palhares isn't trying to injure his opponents. The damage is already done as far as his reputation goes int his sport.

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