Although controversial former WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares is currently suspended until August 2017 for holding onto a fight-ending submission on Jake Shields at last year’s WSOF 22, that apparently isn’t going to stop the brutalizing grappler from at least attempting to return to the cage.
A report has arrived from MMA Fighting today (March 22, 2016) that Palhares has signed on to face Emil Meek at May 21’s Venator FC 3 from Italy. The promotion’s president Frank Merenda, who defended oft-troubled middleweight Jason Miller (another fighter preparing to fight for him) just last week, came back with the suggestion that Palhares has been ‘unfairly’ under fire for holding onto submissions too long:
“Rousimar is a great champion who has often found himself unfairly under fire for excessive holding [alleged or real] after opponents have tapped out. But anyone who knows him knows that he is a good guy who never wants to hurt anyone. He’s a hard worker, a serious and respectful guy who genuinely loves the world of combat sports. Above all, he has a real desire to redeem himself in front of everyone and show that he is not the “monster” that everyone talks about.”
The proposed fight will supposedly serve as the Venator FC 3 main event and will be for the promotional welterweight title.
Regardless of the public perception of Palhares (which is clearly not good), however, the fact remains that he is suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) until August 1, 2017, and WSOF head man Ray Sefo said he is still under contract with them:
“If he takes the fight in May,” Sefo stated, “that’s a violation of his World Series of Fighting contract that is still active. He was suspended by the athletic commission but being suspended doesn’t mean you’re released from your contract.”
That would make sense, but Palhares’ manager Alex Davis apparently believes that they can do what they please and fight in Italy despite being the ones who were found in violation of the rules.
Jump to the following page to read his manager’s brash response to WSOF…