Looks like Rousimar Palhares is adamant that he won’t take this two-year NAC suspension lying down. Palhares was handed a two year ban in Nevada last October for his latest in a long string of in-cage incidents. During a WSOF 22 bout against Jake Shields, Palhares once again held a submission past the point his opponent tapped and spent much of the bout raking his opponents eyes (which didn’t seem to factor into his ban, strangely). It appears to be the straw that broke the camels back, prompting the Nevada Athletic Commission to bring him up for a disciplinary hearing.
At the time of his hearing, Palhares told media that he trusted the NAC would do him justice and essentially, it seems, exonerate him of wrong doing. That didn’t happen… or at least not the way Palhares envisioned it. So now, without a whole lot to do and with a lot of time to do it in, he’s looking for options. And it looks like Venator FC has stepped up to the plate to give him one. MMA Fighting reports that the Italian MMA promotion is planning to put Palhares on one of their future events.
“Rousimar is a great champion who has often found himself unfairly under fire for excessive holding [alleged or real] after opponents have tapped out,” Venator president Frank Merenda said in a statement. “But anyone who knows him knows that he is a good guy who never wants to hurt anyone. He’s a hard worker, a serious and respectful guy who genuinely loves the world of combat sports. Above all, he has a real desire to redeem himself in front of everyone and show that he is not the “monster” that everyone talks about.”
WSOF President, Ray Sefo had his own thoughts on Palhares looking to take fights outside of his WSOF contract while suspended:
“If he takes the fight in May,” Sefo stated, “that’s a violation of his World Series of Fighting contract that is still active. He was suspended by the athletic commission but being suspended doesn’t mean you’re released from your contract.”
As far as Palhares’ manager, Alex Davis, is concerned, he and his client view their WSOF contract as dissolved and challenged WSOF to “take it up with our lawyer” if they want to.
And while WSOF might not be happy about it, it doesn’t look like Venator is about to back down over the promotion’s threats. Merenda released an updated statement on WSOF via Twitter:
As always, i don’t give a fuck… pic.twitter.com/Yc6hg5Pt4a
— Frank Merenda (@FrankMerendaVV) March 22, 2016
Will Palhares really risk a lawsuit to keep his fighting career going? Will WSOF have much recourse if Palhares stays outside of the US long term? Stay tuned as this is sure to get a lot messier before it’s all over.
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