Rousimar Palhares: I Never Wanted To Cause Harm To Anyone


Embattled former UFC welterweight Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares found new life by signing with World Series of Fighting. The brutish submission artist was cut by UFC after torqueing a dangerous heel hook in the first round of his UFC Fight Night 29 bout against Mike Pierce in September.

But the ground wizard has acknowledged what he did wrong and is taking the necessary steps to correct it. He told MMA Fighting that he does not want to hurt anyone inside the cage:

“We’re working hard to make sure that it never happens again. I wasn’t focused and I didn’t realize that I was doing it. Now that I can see it, I hope I can work hard on that. We’re training the right way, fixing the issues. It’s perfect now. I never wanted to cause any harm to anyone, and I always believed I’d be able to find a new promotion to fight. I’m really happy that everything is back to normal in my life.”

Perhaps Palhares never intended to hurt anyone, but the fact remains that he added insult to injury by holding onto some of the most lethal holds in MMA long after his opponents had tapped. The Pierce incident wasn’t the first transgression from Palhares, who was suspended for 90 days following a similar circumstance against Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111.

Now “Toquinho” will move onto new competition. The WSOF boasts a competitive welterweight roster with champion Steve Carl, Jon Fitch, and Josh Burkman. It’s not comparable to the UFC’s stacked 170-pound division, but there are some interesting fights available for Palhares.

Longtime UFC contender Fitch was particularly vocal about his disdain for Palhares’ actions, so it may be poetic justice that the two talented fighters do end up facing off. Fitch is notoriously hard to submit; Palhares will have his hands full. “Toquinho” addressed his feelings about the former UFC welterweight title challenger:

“The only thing that bothered me is the fact that (Fitch) said he doesn’t like me, but I never did anything to him. He said things without knowing me. I hope I can show him who I really am so he’ll change his opinion about me. I have nothing against him.”

Fitch may not know Palhares personally, but it sounds like “Toquinho” is looking to make friends rather than fight him. I doubt that’s going to fly for Fitch or the WSOF because a matchup between the two experienced combatants is arguably the most high-profile bout that the promotion has to offer. Will Palhares eventually parlay his mistakes into WSOF gold?

Outer Photo: Jason Silva for USA TODAY Sports

  • I believe the guy didn't intend to harm. When you're in a fight you're supposed to be vicious, and to expect him to be a complete gentleman is a bit absurd. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he doesn't seem like a sociopath, as many like to label him.

  • Damn, dude looks BEAST in this pic…

  • Dude has tree trunks for forearms, he does like 500kg low pulley reverse curls I swear.

  • Thats the second or third fighter he has hurt. But in reality when ur in a fight ur not thinking is this to much, ur thinking finish the submission. Get the win. I think he has just extremely strong subs and his opponents got the full effect.

  • Paul Harris is a good guy, just needs to have the right leadership to follow.

  • I think he got a bum deal. I think it was a major over reaction.

    I remember one of the taps that RP was derided for and Joe Rogan in replay complaining about it and counting off the seconds…quickly…and got up to (I believe) five. The reality though, was in real time, RP held that hold for (roughly) a second to long and sorry, but I can't fault him for it.

    In his last outing, yes he held the submission too long, but he was in the heat of the battle, at the opposite end of his opponent, the crowd was screaming and the ref was also on top of him, confusing him as to what he was feeling in terms of people tapping or trying to separate him.

    Bottom line is, an ankle lock is a brutal move when applied and it doesn't take long to get hurt and there's no evidence that the damage RP did to Mike Pierce wasn't already done, before the ref stepped in. Which is to say, that he hurt Pierce the moment the lock was applied and not as a result of being applied too long.

    Again, I think he got a bum deal and I think the situation could have been dealt with in other ways. The UFC 170 is less without him, that's for sure.

    • Very sharp

    • Yep. When Rogan makes a big deal out of stuff, either the baldfather respects Rogans opinion so much that he jumps on board and runs with it or he has to do damage control and suspend etc….

      Rogan gets on my nerves.

  • For anyone that supports Palhares they should visit their local Jujitsu gym and ask the head trainer to crank a heel hook without releasing for a few extra seconds after the tap….After this wave of enlightenment that will know that Palhares is a scu-mba-g martial artist. When you train years in a discipline and you can't figure out when to release a submission something is mentally wrong with you….You need a taser gun to get that pri-ck to release.
    I care about fighters safety and the longevity of their health, their ligaments. There was a reason he was released…GUILTY AS CHARGED !! MULTIPLE TIME OFFENDER !!

    • I don't support harris and I have been in BJJ for about 8 years now. He held on too long but it did not seem intentional. He should have been fined and suspended. One thing, he was not punished by the athletic commission,,,He was cut by UFC. That's my point – they didn't feel the need to punish. He held on too long, but it was also somewhat close too.

  • I love you Toco…if you fight in a parking lot just tell me when and where and i will find a way to watch… are one of our fighting idols!! Dont let the man get you down…..and if he does you know what to do!!

  • People just don't understand… he was in beast mode…

  • D

    Fitch didn't just say he doesn't like Palhares, he said he would refuse to fight him…so there's that.