Controversial former UFC veteran and former WSOF (World Series of Fighting) lightweight champion Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares finally appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission today (October 29, 2015) regarding his WSOF 22 win over Jake Shields.
Palhares was accused of eye gouging throughout the bout, and ultimately cranked on his fight ending kimura for a tad too long, something he has previously done in the past as well. As a result, Palhares has been handed a lengthy two-year suspension in addition to a fine from the commission and unsurprisingly, he’s not too happy with it.
In a statement released to MMAFighting.com, the Brazilian stated that he does not agree with the punishment, but will obviously have to accept it. He also blamed part of the situation on referee Steve Mazzagatti, saying that the official should have been in a better position:
“I appeared in front of the commission today to tell the truth and take the responsibilities for my acts. I thank the commission for opening an exception and allowing me the opportunity to participate on the hearing via Skype. I know all the complications that it has caused, but I once again thank them for understanding my current condition.
“Yet, I don’t agree with the punishment, both the suspension and the fine. Many untruths were said. They didn’t take in consideration the obvious mistake committed by referee Steve Mazzagatti, who was in an inadequate position at the moment of the submission. If the referee was in the correct position, maybe none of this would have happened.
“Unfortunately, I will have to obey this unfair decision, fulfilling my suspension and paying the fine. I’ll reflect about everything that happened and, together with my manager Alex Davis, I will make the best decision for the continuation of my career.”
Palhares has been highly criticized for his actions over the course of his career, but today claimed that he is in no way a dirty fighter, but rather a clean and correct professional:
“I will never accept to be called a dirty fighter. I’ll say this again, I have more than 20 fights in my career and no one will ever say the name of a single fighter that has broken an arm or a leg while fighting me, I never ended no one’s career due to injury. I’m a clean and correct athlete, and I know my character and professionalism.”
Do you agree with the commission’s decision?