Rousimar Palhares infamously held a heel hook vs. Mike Pierce at UFN 29 last week, and was released by the UFC, apparently for life.
Palhares has a history of holding heel hooks too long in both MMA, and in grappling, and his former coach, BTT co-founder Murilo Bustamante said there was the same problem in the gym.
"I got tired of seeing how he hurts people so often when he is sparring, especially when he has a fight coming up," said Bustamante. "We used to argue every time it happened, so we argued a lot. That was a reason - together with his nonsense excuses every time he lost a fight - that our relationship started to get bitter."
Palhares' manager Alex Davis took issue with Bustamante's criticism.
"I do know why Rousimar left that team, and let me make it clear that it was not Murilo that asked him to leave," said Davis. "Rousimar left because he felt he was not evolving as a fighter, and there were other fighters who left that camp around that time for the same reason."
Palhares currently fights for Team Noguiera, and team head Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira defended Palhares' conduct in the gym, and explained that heel hooks have to be applied explosively.
"I can say that in our gym, ‘Toquinho’ has never hurt anyone," said Nogueira in a release sent to MMAFighting.com. "He is a good person, excellent company and a man with a great character. I believe that he has never thought of doing anything evil to any opponent because this isn’t his conduct.
"I don’t question UFC’s decision because the people who are in control have a global view of the business and they understand it better than anyone in the whole business that involves our sport."
"It’s a dangerous position and the guy who applies it has to be explosive. At the time, you don’t look at the opponent. ‘Toquinho’ lost the position several times because he released the grip a little. It’s a position that you go with everything or you lose it. It’s a complicated situation. The referee needs to be aware and has to intervene in an energetic way."
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