After Rousimar Palhares was booted by the UFC last month, for his prolonged and controversial heel hook finish of Mike Pierce at UFC FN 29, it remains to be seen where the fighter will end up. Although initially promotions like Bellator and WSOF said they weren’t interested in signing the feared submission artist, it looks like there’s been some movement on that front…
In a recent report from MMA Junkie.com, WSOF President Ray Sefo conceded that the promotion has been re-evaluating their stance on the 33 year-old fighter.
“Initially, I’ll admit I didn’t think World Series of Fighting should even entertain the idea of bring Palhares on board,” Sefo said. “But I’ve been speaking with our team, as well as some people I trust throughout the industry, and I’m not so sure he doesn’t deserve another chance.”
“We haven’t made any concrete decisions just yet, but I think maybe Palhares could be a valuable part of our organization.”
How about that? While some folks may be surprised to hear this, especially because it’s been just over a month since the infamous incident, it’s not that shocking. At the end of the day, Palhares is a ridiculously talented fighter, and his reputation could help move tickets and boost ratings. After he was barred by the UFC, both Palhares and his management insisted he had never intended to hurt Pierce, whose ankle and knee were injured as a result of the heel hook.
The report also included comments from Renzo Gracie, who apparently relayed on”The MMA Hour” that he doesn’t believe “Toquinho” held onto the technique “too long.” Gracie also noted that heel hooks are a “finishing hold”, which requires “intensity”. Sefo added that hearing Gracie’s take on the fight has “opened” his eyes.
So, based off all this, it certainly looks like a WSOF offer could be headed Palhares’ way. If it happens, it will be interesting to see whether there’s some backlash from fans.