Viewers watching World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 16 last Sat. night (Dec. 13, 2014) on NBC Sports Network from Sacramento, Calif., saw a trademark of a Rousimar Palhares fight: a leg submission so painful the opponent was left unable to stand after the bout.
See for yourself right here.
WSOF President Ray Sefo addressed the troubled fighter's reputation before the fight, and assured MMAmania.com that "Toquinho" would follow the rules.
"We addressed this issue when we first signed him. If (a submission) is being held too long we wouldn't tolerate that. Obviously, you gotta learn how to have an on and off switch, when that bell rings in the cage or in the ring."
Did Palhares hold on to his kneebar of Jon Fitch a second too long, or is everyone satisfied that he followed the rules?
Sefo explained his position to MMA Junkie:
"Palhares' win over Fitch was perfectly clean. Palhares amazes me every time he fights. Everyone knows he is a master at what he does, and even though his opponents know exactly what he's going to do, they can't stop him."
Fitch certainly attempted to stop him, trying briefly to go hold-for-hold with Palhares on the ground, but the Brazilian had the better position (and the better submission). Although Fitch was screaming in pain, Palhares only let go when referee Ed Collantes signaled him to stop.
Exactly as he was instructed to do.
The severity of the submission may look more graphic than the actual amount of damage inflicted. The initial assessment is that Fitch will be out 4-6 weeks and fortunately, won't need surgery on his knee (full fight recap here).
Palhares may have a bad boy reputation, but on Saturday night at WSOF 16, he was fighting within the letter of the law.