WSOF’s Sefo Not Interested in Palhares Until Fighter Gets “Some Sort of Help”
Fitch Stands By Previous Comments About Welterweight
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Rousimar Palhares has been banned by the UFC for the controversial heel hook he used to injure Mike Pierce on October 9th, due to his name and abilities, many believe he’ll find a new employer soon. In fact, not long after the 15-5 fighter was released, Palhares’ manager Alex Davis relayed that promotions have already contacted him about the welterweight
Well, recently Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said he was not interested in signing the 33 year-old vet, and now WSOF President Ray Sefo has echoed similar sentiments.
“His past is not good,” Sefo said during a WSOF media call Monday, while discussing whether the promotion might look to sign Palhares. “Obviously the team and I have talked about it, and he probably needs to seek some sort of help, or talk to somebody, a psychiatrist that would help him from hurting fighters.”
Palhares was also disciplined in 2010, and was suspended by New Jersey officials, after he didn’t immediately release the heel hook he used to submit Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111.
“At the end of the day, we don’t want that, and until he does that we won’t look at signing him anytime soon,” Sefo added. “Again, I’ve talked to the team and we all agree that he has to somewhat get therapy, or whatever he needs to do to try to help that situation.”
Since the UFC Fight Night 29 incident, Palhares has said he never intends to hurt any “athlete”, and was just trying to “finish the fight” versus Pierce. In addition, the fighter has been defended by his manager Alex Davis, as well as members of Team Nogueira, who say Palhares is a kind and humble person. Davis has also said that Palhares has worked hard on ensuring he no longer injures teammates or opponents.
WSOF welterweight Jon Fitch recently relayed that he wouldn’t fight Palhares, by citing the fact that the fighter is a repeat offender and that prolonged joint locks are extremely dangerous. The 35 year-old, who is set to fight Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6 on Saturday, was asked during the call if he still stands by those statements.
“He’d definitely have to prove that he is no longer out there trying to cripple people after the fight is over,” said Fitch, whose comment received an “absolutely” from Sefo. “I give an example of one of my teammates Mike Kyle, where he had a bad fight where he was in the wrong. He continued to strike an opponent after the ref stopped it and he had to be physically pulled off the guy…he’s been 100% since then. He’s proven himself and that was a mistake, and a bad thing.”
“With Palhares it seems to be a reoccurring; it’s happened twice in the UFC and in his grappling matches it’s happened a number of times,” Fitch furthered. “It’s just not what our sport is. We’re trying to beat each other up, but when someone concedes and gives up, you don’t continue to crank on submissions. You can end someone’s career that way.”
WSOF 6 will take place October 26th at the Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Florida. The card will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Josh Burkman and Steve Carl to determine the promotion’s first champion.