Opinion: UFC Needs To Crack Down on Dirty Fighters
By Michael Hatamoto
UFC veteran Rousimar Palhares was impressive in his welterweight debut, quickly tapping out veteran Mike Pierce in 31 seconds.
Despite the win, there was a certain level of controversy due to Palhares’ refusing to let go of the heel hook submission.
Not surprisingly, Palhares managed to take Pierce’s leg home with him, and has been criticized for holding the submission too long. Pierce was tapping immediately, before he even hit the mat – and then Palhares held onto the submission for a few extra seconds, even while referee Keith Peterson tried to get him to release the submission.
Following the fight, Pierce’s coach, Phil Claud, told MMA reporters that the Brazilian MMA commission will take a look at the end of the fight.
UFC President Dana White likes to say it’s up to the athletic commission to crack down on doping and fighters behaving badly – and he needs to step up and make an example of someone like Palhares. I don’t like to advocate fighters get fined or lose a potential fight matchup, but this seems appropriate to show the Brazilian BJJ fighter that this type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable.
There was immediate backlash on Twitter and Facebook, from both MMA fans and professional fighters, including Brian Stann, Mike Brown, Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, Kenny Florian, and others. Understandably, Palhares will likely be criticized by MMA journalists and bloggers over the next few days, while we all grow tired of watching the Brazilian fight like this.
I think the UFC needs to punish Palhares for holding onto a submission once again, especially a dangerous submission like a heel hook. Thankfully, the UFC didn’t give Palhares a $50,000 Submission of the Night award, despite being the only submission victory on the fight card.