Rousimar Palhares Sees No Controversy In His Submission of Steve Carl

Rousimar Palhares Sees No Controversy In His Submission of Steve Carl


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 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. 

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  • Brasil

    Toco we love you!!!

    • Entity

      No ffence Brasil, but I dont really understand all the news lately in regular media about Palhares. He got owned in the UFC and seems to get a lot of exposure in these smaller orgs. We dont see a lot about Bellator champs. Its beginning to look like Lindsy Lohan and paris Hilton or something. I dont blame Lowkick writers or anything, it just happens to be the latest stuff going around the MMA scene. I just dont get it. I mean Belcher isnt in all the headlines.

  • Brasil

    You have a good point Entity, I dont know the answer…maybe Toco is a potential still to be fulfilled and the fans and media would like to see him back in the UFC or maybe his fights are all just to crazy to ignore…win or lose always crazy.
    I am personally a huge fan because he came from such humble origins…if you check his bio you will se the hell hole he came out from and jiu jitsu changed his life for the better….he is an example of hard work, faith, humility and how the sport we love can really change a life it does not matter who you are or were you come from…Toco we love you!!!

    • Entity

      I dont dislike him or anything. Im just perplexed by all the coverage.

  • Woodstock

    oh I get it, its not when the fighter taps, its when the referee tells him to stop. because if you notice when Carl taps he holds it longer then he should. imo

    • SpaceJam

      He wasn't even looking at Carls face, he was looking at the ankle to get the right angle to make the sub successful. So of course he didn't let go when Carl tapped.

  • falcon4917

    Absolutely agree with Palhares.

  • poweroftwomen

    It just did`nt seem like he held it too long, I really can`t see what all the fuss is about.

  • Synyster

    it wasnt even close to his worst but he held on a second or two, too long which isnt that big of a deal I guess, but given his past he should know better… The ref had to pry his arms apart and he resisted it for the first second or two like i said the second the ref touches you it should be released if he is prying apart ur grip, which happened ur being abit of a dick

    • SpaceJam

      He is in the heat of battle, his adrenaline was pumping, and the way Paul Harris had his body position it would always take him at least 1 second to realize the ref was stopping the fight.

  • Zip

    Considering Palhares' history, and the inverted heel hook, shouldn't the ref's instructions to hold the sub until he stops it be in question?

    • Brian Cox

      The global instruction in all fights is to keep going until the ref stops the fight. As long as the ref is doing his job properly and is on top of the action, it shouldn't be a problem. I thought the ref in the Carl / RP fight did a great job on Saturday night.

      My guess on this would be that any damage that RP does to an opponent's leg is probably done before the guy taps, and not something that RP is inflicting after the tap. It's a dangerous move, man. It's almost like the moment it's set in you're screwed. Hard to knock the guy for being so good at it. He's like a male version of Ronda Rousey, only instead of arm bars RP uses leg locks. It's amazing how easily he seems to do it.

      • Zip

        Well, that sums it up. Thanks for the answer Brian, and the response below.

        • Brian Cox

          I think the whole issue is murky and that the promotion should do a better job educating the fans as to the rules. As a matter of fact, I think the promotion is capricious on the issue.

          If we were to ask Dana White, he'd tell you that a fighter goes until the ref stops tells them to stop. Yet, on the RP firing..the criteria became the tap.

          Now, if we go back and look at the fight, and consider the time from the ref interceding and not when Mike Pierce tapped, there's no problem with the time. And if there is, it's the refs fault. When the ref jumped in he threw his arms around the fighter's legs, and then went for Pierce's leg, at the point RP had realized the fight was over and released. Further, the ref appeared to issue no verbal commands for RP to hear.

          What the ref should have done and should always do, is go for the fighter's hands, while issuing verbal commands to release.

          Truly, I see no problem with his RP's submission of Pierce. By the rule of 'go until the ref pulls you off' it was a good submission and release. And regarding any damage Pierce took, he probably sustained the damage before or while, he was tapping. Subsequently, RP releasing on tap wouldn't have prevented the damage. Again, perhaps the move should be banned.

          Hope all is well on the farm, Zip. You the man.

        • Brian Cox

          PS – Here's a video of the RP / Pierce fight. To me, I see nothing wrong with his submission or it's release.

  • Camelux3000

    It 's very simple actually,
    If he feels his opponents tap he should immediately by himself ,release the sub.
    He did hold it again a little more than he should have,but it wasn't that bad this time IMO

    • falcon4917

      not the tap, the ref has to stop it. The tap is to signal the ref.

      • Zip

        I'm curious what the actual 'rule' is on that. We've certainly seen fighters (Faber) let go of subs as soon as the opponent taps, as well as fights ending via strikes (Hunt) without the extra shots well before the ref stops it. My thinking is when a fights taps, he gives up, end of fight. The ref just makes it official.

        • Brian Cox

          If you notice in the video, RP's head is turned down and away from Carl. As such, he's checking his position and not his opponent.

          To the guy putting the hold on the tap could just as easily come across as his opponent hitting his leg. Further, how many times have we seen a fighter tap, only to deny tapping immediately afterwards?

          The rule of is that a fighter goes until the ref stops him. I don't see how RP could be faulted on the hold based on that fact.

          As to the time between the tap and the ref stepping in, it was somewhere between one second and little over. It was certainly not two seconds.

          Personally, I think RP did his job and that's all he did. It's the refs job to be on top of it, see the tap and then stop the fight, which is exactly what happened.

          For me, I think the only solution to the problem of this submission is to ban it. It's a very dangerous submission and one that can inflict it's damage before the fighter even has a chance to tap. Concordantly, if it's an issue the sport should just collectively ban the move.

          Bottom line on this, the moment RP goes for that move the ref has to be all over it and any opponents that tap, should make sure they are tapping prominently and loudly.

          I think if there were any other fighters out there that were as phenomenal as RP is at sinking in leg locks, then we'd be seeing the same thing with them and getting the same complaints. It's a dangerous move. Perhaps it should be banned.

        • Camelux3000


        • Camelux3000


        • falcon4917

          It's the redf that stops it but some fighters will out of good conscience stop the fight themselves and expect the guy who tapped to stick with what he knows he just did. Once in a while though it has happened that a guy taps and then acts like he didn't and the ref lets it go.