Is Dana White’s Decision to Ban Rousimar Palhares for Life the Right Move?

Rousimar Palhares made a strong statement during his 170-pound debut at UFC Fight Night 29, forcing tough welterweight veteran Mike Pierce to tap via heel hook 31 seconds into the contest.

Unfortunately for Palhares, while fans at the packed Jose Correa Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil appreciated his effort, the win didn’t come without controversy.

That’s because some feel he held on to the heel hook which brought the fight to an end a bit too long. UFC officials seemed to agree with that sentiment, refusing to give Palhares the “Submission of the Night” award even though he had the lone sub of the night.

UFC officials made the revelation during the post-fight press conference, also announcing that the Comissão Atlética Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA) will investigate Rousimar’s behavior.

It’s was a tough break for Rousimar Palhares, and it certainly wasn’t fair, considering the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

Here’s a replay of the entire fight.

While Palhares held on to the fight-ending heel hook a second or two longer than he should have, he immediately stopped cranking the moment referee Keith Peterson jumped in. If that wasn’t the case, Pierce would be coming out of intensive knee surgery right about now.

It only takes a tiny bit of pressure to completely destroy a person’s knee with a heel hook, people.

MMA fans have a tendency to pick and choose when they want to get offended about unsportsmanlike conduct, and that makes it harder to catch those who have a propensity to be overzealous inside the cage.

There wasn’t much outrage when BJ Penn kept squeezing away after Jens Pulver tapped during their rematch, none when Dan Henderson blasted away at a defenseless Michael Bisping after knocking the Brit out cold at UFC 100, nor did anyone complain when Chael Sonnen tapped out during the fifth round of his UFC 117 encounter against Anderson Silva, then lied to referee Josh Rosenthal that he never tapped.

Rousimar Palhares has rightfully earned his reputation as a fighter who is prone to being reckless with his submissions, but it didn’t seem like he was being malicious at UFC Fight Night 29. If a leg-lock specialist like Rousimar was truly out for a limb, Pierce wouldn’t have been back on his feet seconds after both men were separated.

Unfortunately for Rousimar, UFC president Dana White has jumped the gun once again, announcing the Brazilian has been banned for life from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap broke the news tweeting, “@danawhite tells me on @ESPNOlbermann that Rousimar Palhares is banned. won’t ever fight for UFC again…”

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 8 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.


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