For the moment, it appears as if UFC welterweight Mike Pierce will not need surgery to repair the knee injured by Rousimar Palhares’ hulk-smash heel hook at UFC Fight Night 29. That’s the good news. The bad news is that an MRI shows that Pierce’s left knee is indeed badly injured and will force him out of action for a good while.
MMA Junkie reports that an MRI of Pierce’s left knee indicated a “severe MCL sprain.” Pierce and his team are awaiting results on imaging on his left ankle, which was also injured by the hold. Palhares forced Pierce to submit in just over thirty seconds during their main card bout in Brazil, but Palhares refused to immediately let go of the hold — even after the referee had clearly interceded — giving Pierce’s leg one last tug before letting go.
It wasn’t the first time Palhares refused to obey referee orders after forcing an opponent to tap out and the California Pizza Kitchen-lovin’ man-beast was promptly released by the UFC for the latest offense. Pierce was medically suspended for 180 days directly after the fight.
We’ll bring you updates on his condition as they are made known.