When Rousimar Palhares sees a knee he likes, he snuggles up to it nice and tight and takes it as his own, but after UFC Fight Night 29, it is becoming obvious that the MMA community doesn’t feel safe with a klepto on the loose.
Fighters, fans and journalists erupted on Twitter on Wednesday night following Palhares’ 31-second submission win over Mike Pierce.
The two welterweights had been working from the clinch when Palhares sat down and wrapped Pierce’s leg up for a heel hook. Pierce, who had escaped a leg lock attempt earlier in the bout, let out a blood-curdling scream almost immediately as Palhares ripped at his knee ligaments.
His taps for the fight to end could almost count as slaps to Palhares’ backside, but the Brazilian continued to crank the hold briefly even after the referee stopped the fight.
There was tremendous outrage for Palhares’ submission, which fueled thousands of concerned and angry tweets.
Loved the submission that Toquihno hit on Pierece but don't like the way he held it. Has a history of that. Gets too excited out there.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) October 9, 2013
That was crap! When someone is clearly tapping and the ref can't even pull him off Dana need for fine Palhares to... http://t.co/UriKsO0mXq— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 9, 2013
In all seriousness after watching the replay it's clear Palhares torqued the leg even more after the tap. Dangerous, irresponsible, Hate it.— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 10, 2013
In my opinion palhares hangs on to his submissions a little too long, even with the ref trying to pull him off... He could potentially....— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) October 9, 2013
End a career with one of those...— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) October 9, 2013
Mike Pierce tapped more than every fight combined in UFC history ! #UFCFightNight— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunsonMMA) October 9, 2013
For real though, if someone taps to a leglock, you don't keep cranking. Unnecessary damage.— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) October 9, 2013
Dude that should be a DQ, that was blatant & not his first offense. That's worse then punching after the bell and K.O.'ing someone. #career— Justin Buchholz (@jbmma155) October 9, 2013
UFC President Dana White obviously wasn’t happy about the incident.
After the event, UFC News posted on Twitter that Palhares would miss out on a $50,000 fight bonus for “Submission of the Night” due to “unsportsman-like conduct.” MMAFighting.com is also reporting that White is planning on dishing out additional punishments, but he wouldn’t comment on the specifics.
Palhares is denying any wrongdoing in the fight, and according to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, he doesn’t believe he deserves critics.
“He tapped and I let go,” Palhares said, according to Helwani in a tweet.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Palhares has faced discipline for extending his submission holds. The New Jersey Athletic Control Board suspended him for 90 days when he failed to let go of a heel hook at UFC 111 after Tomasz Drwal tapped.
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s job is already tough enough finding a fighter willing to step up and fight Palhares, and it will only get harder after this incident. Knee injuries can end careers, and fighters are hesitant to put themselves at risk against Palhares.
Can you blame them?