Embattled former UFC competitor Rousimar Palhares saw his Octagon career go up in smoke when he cranked a fight-ending heel hook on Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29 long after he had tapped.
It wasn’t the first time “Toquinho” had held onto to one of his brutal leglocks too long, as he was suspended for 90 days after doing the same thing to Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111. Palhares also hurt his plight when he tested positive for elevated testosterone after his UFC on FX 6 knockout loss to Hector Lombard.
But Palhares didn’t have to wait long to find a new employer. Although World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said Palhares would immediately be cut if he continued his antics, he also signed “Toquinho” to a multi-fight deal.
And today, it sounds like Palhares hasn’t been punished too much for repeatedly putting his opponents’ health and well being in the line. In fact, quite the opposite appears true, as Palhares has been booked to face WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl in the main event of WSOF 9 from the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Palhares receives a title shot without even having to fight once in the fledgling promotion, and I’m not sure that WSOF is sending the right message with the booking. They’re basically saying that Palhares can just come over to their promotion and get a title shot right away after he was cut from the UFC for repeatedly offending in a very serious manner.
WSOF is the home to former longtime UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch, and it could be argued that he deserved the shot much more than Palhares does.
Either way, Palhares can’t sleep on Carl. He may not be all that well known, but he has an impressive 21-3 MMA record and has tapped out every foe he’s met in the WSOF cage. His last fight was an ultra-impressive submission victory over UFC vet Josh Burkman that earned him the belt in the process. Palhares is going to have his hands full with another top-flight grappler, but his leglocks are some of the most devastating holds we’ve ever seen applied in MMA.
Does “Toquinho” deserve an immediate title shot? And what kind of image does that project on the young WSOF if they have a disgraced man like Palhares as their champion?
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