The UFC made headlines in the wrong way on Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 29 when welterweight Rousimar Palhares refused to break a leg lock he had in his bout with Mike Pierce.
Palhares had won the bout by submission 0:31 into the fight. The UFC didn’t give Palhares the submission of the night bonus due to his actions.
Everyone was wondering what actions the UFC was going to take on the Brazilian. The UFC took immediate action.
UFC President Dana White was doing an interview with Jeremy Schaap on ESPN and the topic of Palhares was brought up. White told Schaap that Palhares was released from the UFC and will never be allowed back due to his actions.
The UFC then released a statement on why Palhares was released from the organization:
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 Oct. 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.