Report: UFC castoff Rousimar Palhares signs with World Series of Fighting (WSOF)

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Beleaguered welterweight Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares has signed with what is rapidly becoming the home for many big name veterans of the sport, World Series of Fighting.

It's hasn't been a banner year for leg-lock practitioner extraordinaire Rousimar Palhares.

Nearly one year ago (Dec. 12, 2012), "Toquinho" was brutally finished by Hector Lombard via knockout "Down Under" at UFC on FX 6 in Australia. Afterward, he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) suspended him for nine months retroactive to that night.

After that debacle, "Paul Harris" decided to make the drop to Welterweight (more details here), where his smaller frame would more adequately suit his somewhat limited striking style and he could perhaps make one last run at UFC gold.

It was a fantastic 170-pound debut for about 30 seconds, as he made the always-tough Mike Pierce tap out to a heel hook early in the first round. But then, as he's done so many times before, Palhares did something stupid (see here and here for further absurdity). He failed to let go of the submission even with Pierce tapping and yelling frantically as well as the referee literally jumping on top of him.

Fortunately for Pierce, he would only suffer an MCL strain that didn't require surgery.

It would be the third strike and last straw for UFC brass, as president Dana White publicly severed ties (more details here) with the Brazilian just days later.

While he claimed to not feel the tap and disputed the fairness of his release, Palhares changed his tune later and now it seems he's moved on to other pastures, according to MMAFighting.com:

The promotion has signed former UFC welterweight Rousimar Palhares, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. No word just yet when the Brazilian will debut for World Series of Fighting (WSOF) and against who. WSOF officials could not be reached to confirm the signing when contacted.

Remember that Bellator boss Bjorn Rebney declared he was disinterested in Palhares because of his unpredictable nature and even WSOF President, Ray Sefo, initially declined interest in the troubled fighter; however, the latter has clearly also changed his mind.

This is a fairly significant signing for the promotion because its 170-pound division is actually pretty respectable for a non-UFC organization. Palhares, combined with Josh Burkman, Steve Carl, Aaron Simpson, Gerald Harris and Jorge Santiago, among others, collectively make up about as good a division a promotion cobble together one in the fight for second place.

Jon Fitch, meanwhile, would be forced to do something "for the first time" in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

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