As with the “Peanuts” Pig-Pen, Rousimar Palhares seems to have a cloud constantly hovering over his head.
Hot off of his decisive World Series of Fighting championship win last night in Las Vegas, accusations of his being a ‘dirty’ fighter have once again found their way to the “Toquinho’s” door.
In Saturday night’s challenge match, Palhares faced down WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl for his belt, and in doing so, the infamous leg lock specialist – known for hold his submissions too long – required a mere one-minute-and-nine seconds to dispatch his opponent by way of an inverted heel hook.
However, and by the view of his critics, “Toquinho” once again held on to his submission too long, failing to release his opponent upon tap.
To that, Palhares is having none of it. As he sees it, if Steve Carl is okay with the how long he held the submission – and he is – then then there’s no controversy to be had over it.
As Palhares told MMA Interviews:
“It would be that if my opponent thought that, but my opponent said ‘it was a tight hold, and ya know, ya let go, and I don’t have anything to complain (about). If my opponent thinks like that why anybody else should be saying that? He was not irritated at all. My opponent didn’t think that I took too long to let it go. So, why is anybody else complaining?
Indeed, even the WSOF’s President Ray Sefo said as much post-fight. In comment to MMAFighting.com last night, the organization’s head stated as follows:
"The submission happened right in front of Ali (Abdel-Aziz the WSOF matchmaker) and I. I thought as soon as the referee told him to let go, he let go. So if you think that he held it too long, then you're crazy.”
To be sure, the time between Carl’s tap and the referee’s intercedence in the submission couldn’t have been more than a second. As such, it was not long. Further, Palhares had been instructed prior to the fight (by the referee) to hold the submission until instructed to let go.
In synopsis, Palhares submission looks to be nothing more than the phenomenal execution of a technique and nothing more. It’s certainly not anything that comes across as malicious or vindictive. Again, if Steve Carl believes it was a clean submission and release, then it’s hard to see how anyone else could criticize “Toquinho” for the length of the hold.