Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rousimar Palhares lost to Emil “He sure isn’t” Meek via KO for the inaugural Venator FC welterweight title on May 21 in Milan, Italy. In an interview with Guilherme Cruz for MMA Fighting, Palhares said the loss was due to an illegal move.

Hardcore fans of the sport may find no small irony in the statement, give the number of times the fighter has been sanctioned for rule breaking. The angle on the tape obscures much of what happened, but does not appear to contradict the fighter’s account.

“What went wrong in the fight is that I was hit with illegal elbows in the back of the head and couldn’t see anything next,” said Palhares. “When I was hit, I went out. I couldn’t even understand what happened. I kept asking my corners what happened, because I felt a strike in the back of my head and then I just saw the referee in front of me, and felt the pain in the back of my head. I was upset because I didn’t fight and they let him continue after the first strike in the back of the head. I wasn’t in the fight anymore after it.”

“I didn’t say anything (after the fight) because I was off, but my coaches saw and complained, but nobody did anything. They just sent me to the hospital for observation, to make sure everything was alright with my brain. I stayed there for 12 hours and then they let me go, and asked me to do another MRI in Brazil.”

Palhares is currently under suspension in North America. He has not yet made a decision on whether to try to get the fight result overturned.

“I’m not 100 percent yet,” he said. “Let me get the MRI done first. I don’t want to cause harm to anyone, I just want to be healthy. I was afraid, but I know I can walk now. It would be devastating to become paralyzed because of an infraction like that. I feel dizzy sometimes, but I’m happy I’m walking. I’m afraid of this MRI results. About getting the fight overturned, honestly, I’m not worried right now. I just want to be as healthy as I was when I got there. We’ll think about it later.

“I will only know my next step after I get the MRI done because sometimes I feel I’m going to black out. I feel dizzy when I look down. I’m not used to getting hit in the back of the head. I don’t blame the guy that fought me, but the referee shouldn’t let it continue. I’m strong, you know, and I still went out. Imagine if it’s someone else, someone not well prepared as I am? People could die.”

“It was my first fight since leaving WSOF and the suspension, so that disturbed me at first, no doubt about it. I went through a lot, only my family and teammates know. But when I was offered this fight, I left it in the past. It didn’t affect me during the fight. What really affected me were the elbows to the back of the head. I only recall the first strike and I was out. I can’t remember anything else.”

“I’d never underestimate anyone that enters a cage to fight. If you can go there and fight someone like me, who have been through a lot of things, for sure you can do it. And who am I to underestimate anyone in this world?”