UFC welterweight Mike Pierce never had a chance to mount any offense against Rousimar Palhares at UFC Fight Night 29 this Wednesday, succumbing to a first round heel hook that “Toquinho” held tightly for too long, resulting in his release and banning from the UFC. He was also suspended for 120 days by Brazilian athletic commission CABMMA.
The entire incident has left a bad taste in the mouth of many. Most wonder how Palhares continued to tweak heel hooks until his opponents screamed out in pain. He’s claimed that he’s not an evil man or that he never meant to hurt Pierce, but words don’t really matter when your actions put fellow fighters’ careers in jeopardy.
For now, Pierce will return to his home in Oregon to get an MRI on his injured knee, but early reports believe that he’ll make it through without any significant injury. A ton of news has been centered around Palhares, but Pierce texted Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting earlier today to give his take on the unfortunate situation:
“I’m just really pissed off right now.”
Fair enough. Pierce has a right to be pissed off because he could have been seriously injured by the repeat offense of Palhares, who was previously suspended for holding onto a hold that finished Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111.
Here’s to hopping that Pierce escapes unscathed and his next fight doesn’t suffer due to Palhares gross negligence of basic sportsmanship protocols. The whole ordeal has prompted a backlash from the entire MMA community. Alan Belcher, a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt who beat Palhares via TKO at UFC on Fox 3, recently issued a challenge via Twitter, offering to take “Toquinho” on in a Jiu-jitsu match at Metamoris to teach him a lesson:
Regardless what happens there, it’s frustrating to see a fighter with Palhares’ talent squander his career away because of simply not following the rules. These fighters are not only visibly tapping out, but also screaming at the top of their lungs in pain. What other telling signs are needed to exhibit their willingness to give up in the face of injury. It’s been an odd and unfortunate set of circumstances, and Pierce has a right to be mad. We here at LowKick only hope that he’s not badly injured because of the transgression.