If his most recent performance against Jake Shields at WSOF 23 taught us anything, it’s that Rousimar Palhares is not just an asshole, but a willfully dense asshole who poses a consistent threat to his opponents that reaches far beyond what the rules of the sport allow. He was disciplined on two separate occasions during his time in the UFC for holding onto submissions too long — the second of which earned him his walking papers – and was stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely following the Shields incident in August.
The man is clearly a danger to himself and anyone around him, but mainly to anyone around him, is what we’re saying.
Enter the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a group of supposed authorities on the sport who have proved their incompetence at nearly every possible venue. Whether they are struggling to figure out how a conference call line works to hilarious effect or spending upwards of two hours questioning a fighter about Thai black market sex juice, NSAC has proved time and time again that they will never recover from the departure of Keith Kizer.
Having most recently incurred the wrath of MMA fans worldwide for their decision to suspend Nick Diaz for an unprecedented five years, few of us knew how the NSAC would treat a repeat offender of Palhares’ nature during today’s hearing (which was sadly not available on Fight Pass), especially once it was revealed that he had opted not to have a lawyer represent him. The answer, as it turns out, is typical of what you’d expect from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
But before we get to that, let’s allow Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter — who was in attendance at today’s meeting and live-tweeting the entire thing — break down the absolute clusterfuck that Palhares’ defense was.
First off, referee Steve Mazzagatti was sworn in to provide his side of the story, having been the man who attempted in vain to pry Palhares off of Shields on the night in question.
It’s never a good look when Steve freakin’ Mazzagatti is calling a guy out for his incompetence, but OK, we’ve established that Palhares had his hand held right up to the moment he decided to use it to main yet another fighter. Now let’s get to the man himself…
Why a man who has both a tenuous grasp on both the English language and the sport he is competing in would choose to represent himself is just one of the many mysteries of the man they call “Tree Stump” (also “He Who Ate My Children”).
At this point in the meeting, NSAC commissioner Pat Lundvall laid into Palhares with the fire of a thousand suns, telling “Toquinho” that “it didn’t matter what your opponent did, you were going to hold it” before calling in surprise witness Big John McCarthy to further bury Palhares for the no good dirty sumbitch that he is.
McCarthy went on record as saying that, though Palhares seemed to be a nice enough guy out of the cage, “disconnect somewhere concerning fight stoppages” and “a disregard for the safety of his opponents.”
“If Nick Diaz got 5 years for weed, Palhares is most definitely about to get hammered for life,” we collectively murmured on Twitter, and oh wouldn’t that be some life-affirming justice!!
Of course, you know by now that the NSAC is about anything but justice, which is why, despite calling in expert witnesses to lambast a repeat, violent offender who perjured himself on multiple occasions during his own testimony, the commission ultimately slapped Palhares with a two year suspension and a $40,000 fine (plus court fees).
I don’t even know where to begin. Any attempt at a hyperbolic rant would be null and void when compared to the actual facts, which seems to be that repeatedly smoking weed will get you a five year suspension, while repeatedly causing excessive physical harm to others will get you only two. Despite all her posturing and fervor aimed at Palhares, Lundvall wrapped things up by stating, and I quote, that “they [couldn't] issue the most severe punishment because they’ve never done so before.” This is the kind of airtight logic that the governing body of the sport abides by, ladies and gentlemen.
We once again throw it over to Jeremy Botter for comment.