Welterweight submission specialist Rousimar Palhares was cut by the UFC this week and suspended for 120 days by Brazil’s CABMMA for refusing to release a heel hook on Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29. His manager Alex Davis wrote an op-ed responding to the fallout from the ugly incident:
I’m not defending Rousimar’s actions. He did wrong in holding Mike Pierce’s ankle that long. But this situation is being way over blown. Rousimar has already been punished. He was denied an obvious “Submission of the Night” bonus, and he was given a four-month suspension by the CABMMA. But this guy is being crucified in the court of public opinion and turned into something he is not: a mean, monstrous person who is out to hurt people. This is simply not the truth.
Come on! This has turned into one of the biggest bashing sessions in MMA history. People are gaining media at this guy’s expense; that’s whats happening.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but let me try and predict the future here. Rousimar will fight again. There are already several events interested in having him. He will have learned his lesson, he will come out under control, and he will will put on amazing fights. I say this because Rousimar is one hell of an athlete. He is humble, hardworking and disciplined. He does not drink, does not party. He trains hard, and not only does he train, he helps his training partners. He is a great teammate. Everyone at Team Nogueira loves him.
What Rousimar did was wrong. But what Renato “Babalu” Sobral did was also wrong, when he had a choke on David Heath and did not let it go. And although “Babalu” did get cut from the UFC, he was not turned into a monster. Rousimar does not do this on purpose. He does it subconsciously. But he will have learned his lesson, and he will fight with his head on, and he will beat everyone put in front of him – maybe in a nicer way! And when this happens, I will remind the world of all of this: There are many truths in this situation. Rousimar has been turned from a transgressor to a victim of public opinion and people’s ignorance.
Davis is doing what he’s paid to do here, represent his client. Clearly he’s got his work cut out for him since both Bellator’s CEO and the WSOF’s biggest star have both expressed a complete refusal to work with Palhares.
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