Mike Pierce: Palhares is definitely a cheat
Unheralded UFC welterweight Mike Pierce is 9-3 in the UFC, on a four-fight win streak since dropping a split decision to Josh Koscheck early in 2012. He wants a fight that breaks him into the upper echelons of the division. But what he got was Rousimar Palhares, on a two-fight losing streak, and dropping from middleweight to compete at 170.
In an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Pierce said he is not happy with the match up.
“Maybe I need to get a big pitcher of beer for (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) and sit down and hash this out,” said Pierce. “No, it’s just one of those things where I have to keep doing what I’m doing until they can’t ignore me anymore.”
Brett Okamoto: That kind of matchmaking starting to bother you?
Mike Pierce: Of course, I’m pisseded off. I want to start getting those main card fights against notable guys. Palhares has fought some tough guys. He’s got a little bit of credence to his name but I want to start working my up. This guy is coming off two losses and I’m on a 4-fight win streak. Typically, they don’t match up guys like that.
BO: Have you complained to the UFC about it?
MP: I haven’t had too much interaction with Joe Silva. I’ve had brief words with him. He’s not a huge fan of most people who smash guys up against the fence and grind on them, hit them on the side, that sort of stuff — which, I get. That’s not exciting. He’s like, “I don’t care if it’s a submission, a TKO or a knockout. Look for finishes.” I get that, but it’s hard to do that sometimes when a guy is fresh or you have two skilled fighters. It’s hard to catch them sleeping. And I have had two good finishes in my last three fights.
BO: What are your thoughts on Palhares’ style? He has a history of going real deep on submission attempts in the Octagon.
MP: Well yeah, there was that one clear, obvious one where he held it when the referee told him to let go and he got fined by a commission. Then recently, he tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, so this guy is definitely a cheat. There’s no surprise. He’ll do anything to win because he’s either desperate or an a——. I’m not too concerned about that. I come in expecting he’s going to be mean, try to be a bully, try to cheat — I have to deal with it.