UFC official statement on Rousimar Palhares release
Rousimar Palhares fought Mike Pierce on the main card of Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 29 in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Shortly into the opening round, Palahares secured a heel hook, Pierce tapped, the referee moved in to end the contest, and Palhares didn’t stop. This was the second time he held a heel hook too long – the New Jersey State Athletic Commission suspended Palhares for 90 days, following an identical infraction vs. Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 In 2010. Palhares did the same thing at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.
Following the latest infraction, UFC president Dana White banned Plahares for life from the UFC. Thursday night the official statement appeared at UFC.com.
As announced by UFC president Dana White, the UFC organization has elected to terminate its contract with Rousimar Palhares based on repeated incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct violating the UFC Fighter Code of Conduct and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC.
At UFC FIGHT NIGHT: MAIA vs. SHIELDS on October 9, 2013, Palhares won his welterweight bout against Mike Pierce via heel hook submission in 31 seconds. Pierce appeared to tap several times physically and verbally and the ref intervened physically before Palhares let go. Despite being the only submission win on the card, Palhares was denied the Submission of the Night bonus. Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik announced at the post-fight press conference that the local commission would be investigating the length of time that Palhares held the submission.
The controversy is not Palhares’ first: In 2010, the New Jersey State Athletic Commission suspended Palhares for 90 days following his heel hook win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 for not letting go after the referee stoppage.
In 2012, Palhares was again suspended for nine months after testing positive for elevated testosterone after UFC on FX 6.