Imagine having a dream. Then imagine being close to living that dream life, to competing at the highest level in your chosen profession and then you continually fuck up. Like, I don’t even mean a little bit, I mean, you do stuff that people find reprehensible time and time again. You fuck up so much that the UFC, an organization whose policy on domestic violence offenders is stern Dana White promo in front of the press if you can draw money for him, has to let you go. I mean, they have to “ban you for life” from the organization.
That’s Rousimar Palhares in a nutshell. In fact, nobody wanted to touch the guy after his release from the UFC. There was a very real chance that Palhares could have been a serious contender at Welterweight and is an exciting fighter to watch, but to put it plainly, he’s been busted for PEDs in the past and he doesn’t seem to understand that hurting another competitor is not only in bad form, but it’s a reprehensible thing to do. I mean, Bjorn Rebney, a guy that many have linked to killing a dog to send a message, didn’t want to touch him. C’mon.
Yet, here Palhares is in World Series of Fighting and he now holds the WSOF Welterweight Championship. Last night he defended his title against former UFC Contender Jon Fitch and, well, he did it AGAIN. He held onto the hold for too damned long and now Jon Fitch is complaining about being injured. Why would anyone mentally sound do the same damned thing that got them fired from their dream job again in the only place willing to give you another shot at redemption?
For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t seem like Palhares is a cruel man, his training partners talk about him being a nice guy, he doesn’t want to hurt people. So if he genuinely doesn’t want to hurt people when do we take responsibility that we have an “Of Mice and Men” situation on our hands here and this guy shouldn’t be given the opportunity to do these things on his own because he literally has no clue what he’s doing. He gets the tend the rabbits.
Leg locks are serious business, they can seriously injure someone and impact them for the rest of their lives. There is a reason why Judo on the highest level has leg locks banned at this point, because a fraction of a second in one can do irreparable damage. If Palhares wants to be the leg lock guy, fine, but he needs to be responsible and if he isn’t capable of that, then someone has to put an end to this (note: we aren’t advocating anything awful, seriously) and either get him to cut out the leg locks or stop him from fighting.
MMA is, for all of its faults, supposed to be a safe sport where everyone that steps into the ring understands that the person standing across that cage from them is a human being just trying to make a living. According to Palhares, though, he did nothing wrong. The answer might already be clear to the rest of us on this one. Any sane person who brought his career to the point where it is by holding submissions too long would surely not do it again, right? They’d be aware and stop.