There are two ways to look at Rousimar Palhares.
Perhaps the man despises legs in all of their forms and has a seething desire to mangle them beyond recognition. It might just be that he really loves them and wants to take them home with him so he can live the rest of his days among them, lovingly and proudly displayed in his trophy room.
Either way, "Toquinho" will have to do without destroying limbs professionally until some time in 2014.
The Brazilian Athletic Commission of MMA (CABMMA) released a statement on Friday (via MMA Weekly) that it has issued Palhares a 120-day suspension. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) deemed Palhares ineligible for a $50,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus at UFC Fight Night 29: "Maia vs. Shields," and on Thursday, flat-out fired him.
After detailed analysis of the conduct of Rousimar Palhares in his bout, at the event "UFC Fight Night" held on October 9, 2013 at the City of Barueri (SP), we communicate the suspension of the athlete for a period of 120 (one hundred and twenty) days, counted as from the end of the period of his medical suspension. The determination of the suspension period considered, among other aspects, the fact that this is not his first anti sportsmanship attitude of the same nature.
For those just tuning in, the controversy stems from Palhares failing to immediately release the heel hook hold that he used to finish Mike Pierce on Oct. 9 in Brazil when the fighter tapped out (watch it here).
There are arguments one can try and make that what he did wasn't all that bad, that he held on for literally one second too long, he got caught up in the moment, whatever, but none of them hold any water. Pierce had tapped for a full second before the referee even jumped in to touch Palhares to break it up.
The referee had actually jumped on him and yet, he gave another good crank before letting go.
Compare this with another recent famous submission moment: Anthony Pettis submitting Benson Henderson at UFC 164 and letting go even before Herb Dean had broken it up. If you want another example, look at Josh Burkman celebrating over an unconscious Jon Fitch before Steve Mazzagatti had bothered to put down his cup of coffee.
The "moment" argument is essentially meaningless.
"Paul Harris" has a long and storied history of going too long in both mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) competitions. Even if one could argue that it wasn't malicious, it is reckless, and given the history, some of which you can see below, it was just too much for the UFC to deem acceptable.
While we're at it, check out his mangling of poor Tomasz Drwal (before it gets taken down). Listen to the anguished, pitying Joe Rogan cry out "He didn't let go!"
And here's his infamous silliness at the 2011 Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC)
For more news, notes and reactions from UFC Fight Night 29, including fight video highlights and play-by-play coverage of all the action from Brazil, check out our "Maia vs. Shields" live coverage story stream by clicking here.