‘Angry’ Mike Pierce open to Rousimar Palhares rematch, says UFC made right decision to cut 'Toquinho'

USA TODAY Sports

Mike Pierce talks about the aftermath that ensued following his UFC Fight Night 29 fight against Rousimar Palhares in which "Toquinho" submitted Pierce in the very first round, refusing to let go of the heel hook after Mike tapped multiple times.

It hasn't been a good week for Mike Pierce.

Last weekend at UFC Fight Night 29, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender had his four-fight win streak snapped by Rousimar Palhares in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

On top of that, the Sports Lab-trained fighter almost had his ankle ripped off by the submission specialist (watch it here) as "Toquinho" locked in a tight heel hook early in round one that forced a quick tap.

But not a quick finish.

The release of the bone-cracking hold was extended past the tap, as Rousimar held on a bit longer -- despite the referee's plea to let go -- and proceeded to crank on the ankle before finally letting Mike's limb go free.

Fortunately, there wasn't any serious damage to his ligaments (that we know of).

The damage to Rousimar's fighting career, however, wasn't as safe, as UFC officials cut Palhares from the organization the following day and "Toquinho's" apology fell on deaf ears, thanks to his history of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Appearing on "The MMA Hour," Pierce talked about the incident and gave an update on the status of his ankle and knee:

"It's feeling a lot better. I'm still a little angry as you expect me to be, but, tomorrow I go in and get the MRI to see the exact extent of the damage on my knee and my ankle. Right now, it's feeling okay, I can walk and put weight on it. There could be a real issue there, I'm just not 100-percent sure. I can't describe it. I felt it pop a couple of times, once in my ankle and once in my knee. The MRI is going to be the determining factor to what the extent is."

As far as the "pops" Mike heard, he says he heard them after he tapped out:

"I felt it after the ref was already on top of us and I was tapping the ref so it was long after. It was after the fact. I think it's pretty clear to everybody who is looking at it honestly that he held on to it too long. I have no problem submitting if I'm caught or the potential of serious danger. That's why I tapped to begin with, because I knew I was caught and I wasn't getting out of it. But to hold on to it to the extent that he did, there was no reason for that, it was unnecessary. I was already giving up at that point because I knew I'd been caught."

Pierce gave his thoughts on whether or not Palhares has psychological issues:

"I'm not a psychologist nor do I really care, the fact of the matter is that he didn't let go and it's been a chronic problem for a long time so he needs to address the problem one way or another, how he does that, I really don't care, but it needs to be fixed."

Furthermore, Pierce said he wasn't too shocked Palhares pulled what he did, saying he almost expected something like that out of the Brazilian going into the fight based on his history (he called it):

Of course, I was expecting it. This has been a problem for him a long time. He got nailed for this in the UFC a couple fights back and even before he UFC he had problems with that at jiu-jitsu tournaments. I mean, didn't Bustamante just come out and say he did that in practice? Obviously, there is a history with this guy holding onto heel hooks. Whether it's intentional or unintentional, doesn't really matter, the fact of the matter is that he is hurting guys and people are tapping like I was and he is holding on to it for a just a fraction of a second too long to the point where it does damage."

As far as Rousimar being released by UFC, Pierce said it was the right decision to make:

"You know, that's up to Dana. I think he made the right decision. I think the commission made the right decision. This guy is hurting people and unnecessarily so. I understand if people get hurt, that's part of the sport and it's going to happen, but, to do what he did was very unsportsmanlike and pretty much goes against all the codes of conduct the UFC puts on us athletes."

In the end, Pierce says bottom line, Rousimar should have known better than to hold on longer than needed:

"Here is my point, the guy is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. My point is, he has plenty of experience in jiu-jitsu. He knows what the point of no return is, he knows how long is too long and there is no excuse for that, to go further than it needs to, unless you have bad intentions or really want to prove a point, maybe he has psychological issues, I don't know. I'm not a psychologist to make that decision, but I think he should have known better."

Surprisingly, Mike said he wouldn't mind a rematch against Palhares and would be determined not to get caught in his dangerous submission game yet again.

Courageous, indeed.

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