Well it took awhile but former UFC fighter Rousimar Palhares now recognizes that he held a heel hook too long on Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29. Of course it took getting suspended for 120 days by the Brazilian commission, being cut from the UFC and finding out that Pierce is out for at least 180 days with a sprained MCL and a torn ankle ligament…no wait none of that did it.
Palhares had to go back and watch the tape himself. As he told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour:
“I did not want to hurt him,” Palhares said through his manager/interpreter, Alex Davis. “In the heat of the fight, I didn’t feel him tap. Afterwards, when I watched the fight, I’d realized that I’d held on too long. But I really didn’t mean to hurt him, you know? He’s a fighter like I am, and I know that he does this for a living, and I’d never want to hurt him.
“I think it has a lot to do with my style,” he said. “I’m really aggressive when I go after the submissions, and there’s been times also when I’ve not held on and people have gotten out of it, and I end up losing the fight. So, it’s kind of the way I fight, but I’ve been getting better, and working a lot on this. But it’s just the way I fight, it’s my style.
“I don’t know (if I’ll return to the UFC), I think time will tell. I’m going to continue fighting, and I’ll do my best. I want to be the best in the world, and the UFC is where the best in the world are. And time will tell. I will keep on doing it and getting better and let’s see what happens.
Asked outright if he regretted how he handled the end of the Pierce fight in his welterweight debut, Palhares said, “No, I wanted to win by submission.” When clarified to mean the particular infraction, not the submission itself, he changed his tune.
“Yes, that part I need to apologize to Mike Pierce and to Dana White,” he said. “I was so focused on the fight, I didn’t feel it. I only saw that afterwards.”
Admitting fault is the first step on the road to recovery Rousimar. Since both Bellator and World Series of Fighting have said they have no interest in signing the ankle-wrecker, it’s unclear where Palhares will get the opportunity to prove he’s learned his lesson.
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