Rousimar Palhares Suspended Two Years, Fined By NAC

After he was stripped of the World Series Of Fighting (WSOF) title and suspended indefinitely for repeatedly poking the eyes and cranking a fight-ending kimura on Jake Shields in their main event fight at August 1’s WSOF 22, controversial grappler Rousimar Palhares has now received his punishment from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).

The NAC decided to suspended Palhares for two years and fine him $40,000 at a hearing today from Las Vegas, with much of the proceeding concerning Palhares’ brutal tendency to hold on to potentially injuring submission holds long after his opponents tapped out.

Appearing without a lawyer, Palhares and his manager Alex Davis discussed the situation with commissioners via Skype. He’s been rather vocal in opposing all allegations leveled at him since the card, but somewhat surprisingly took a different path in not denying any accusations before the NAC.

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The incident with Shields was merely the latest in a long and disturbing series of similar incidents from Palhares, who was suspended 90 days by the commission for cranking a heel hook on Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 before injuring Mike Pierce with a similar hold in 2013.

“Toquinho” was cut from the UFC for that infraction, and surfaced in WSOF with dominant victories over former champion Steve Carl and Jon Fitch, which were slightly less controversial. Palhares’ suspension will be retroactive back to August 1.

So the NAC has come down somewhat hard on Palhares, but it’s impossible to deny that Nick Diaz got a much, much harsher sentence for his third marijuana offense, which was highly questionable in validity in the first place, while Palhares will be out for only two years for repeatedly putting fighters’ careers and health in serious danger.

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Diaz may be appealing the NAC’s decision and also possibly negotiating a settlement with the commission, but it’s still hard to decipher why they would view smoking marijuana as a more egregious offense than Palhares’ refusal to respect his fellow competitors. What do you think about the sticky situation? Are there concerning double standards at play?