Report: Rousimar Palhares targets UFC Welterweight debut 'later this year'

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

When all else fails in mixed martial arts (MMA), it's common for a struggling fighter to pull the pound parachute.

Muscle-bound Middleweight tree stump, Rousimar Palhares, has decided to join the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) "Biggest Losers" club, shedding 15 pounds with the hopes that he will find better success in the Welterweight division.

Palhares, according to Ariel Helwani on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight," even plans to make his 170-pound Octagon debut "later this year."

The Brazilian teased the move (details here) shortly after he was slapped with a nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone levels following his knockout loss to Hector Lombard at UFC on FX 6, which took place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia on Dec. 14, 2012. Prior to the setback, "Toquinho" got served by Alan Belcher as he was attempting one of his crushing leg-lock submissions at UFC on Fox 3 in May 2012.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist, much like the aforementioned Lombard -- who will also make the dip in his next appearance -- apparently completed his "integrated work of nutrition, fitness, supplementation and orthomolecular medicine" successfully to arrive at the decision.

It's important to note that under the terms of his suspension, which would be satisfied sometime next month, Palhares would have to first "pass a drug test upon completion of the suspension before receiving clearance to compete again."

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