Rousimar Palhares attends the Octagon tonight for his 12th UFC fight and in entering the cage at Ultimate Fight Night 29 in Barueri, Brazil, "Toquinho" will be looking to turn around a career that is currently mired in the doldrums.
Stopped in the first round of his last two bouts, Palhares needs a win tonight and in seeking it, the middleweight is heading south of his division’s borders to welterweight, and taking on the heavy handed and powerful wrestler, Mike Pierce.
Pierce is riding a four fight winning streak and coming off of a KO win over David Mitchel, this past July. Although not as dynamic as Palhares, Pierce is a tough fighter and one that has never been stopped in a fight. Further, as he’ll be gunning for his fifth win in a row and possible entrance on to the division’s top ten rankings list, Pierce will be motivated to welcome Palhares to the division with a loss.
However, that could prove to be more easily said than done.
For any that saw yesterday’s weigh-ins, Palhares looked absolutely scary. Surely, there can be no bigger, more powerful looking man in the 170 pound division than Rousimar. If he has the cardio and the mental fortitude to go along with the skills he has, and the power he carries, the division will need to take notice of him and quickly.
Toquinho is an all or nothing type of fighter and one who either lays it on his opponents or has it laid on him, and although Palhares has an impressive 71% (UFC) finishing rate in his fights, he’s also a guy that has been pushed around and intimidated in the ring. Unfortunately for Palhares, that’s Pierces modus operandi.
Of all the fights on the card tonight, this bout could be one of the more interesting and entertaining matches on the card, and in the long term, could prove to be a very important divisional bout.