(Kim vs. Silva: The moment of impact, and the aftermath. / Photos via Getty)
I wouldn’t call yesterday’s UFC Fight Night event a great card, necessarily — the headlining bout was predictably slow, and the main card broadcast dragged in the middle thanks to the light-heavyweights. Still, there were enough violent, surprising, and awful moments at UFC Fight Night 29 to make it worth discussing. So let’s talk about the interesting stuff first, and work our way down to the crap.
Rousimar Palhares may look a little different at welterweight*, but his gameplan hasn’t changed one iota. From the opening bell, Palhares aggressively dove for the legs of Mike Pierce, in an attempt to sink one of his infamous leg-locks. It worked…maybe a little too well. In just 31 seconds, an agonized Mike Pierce was tapping from a heel-hook. As is custom in MMA, the winning fighter is supposed to release his grip and jump up on the cage to do some flexing. But not Rousimar. As he’s done so many times before, Palhares continued to hold the submission for a moment after the referee intervened — which must have seemed like an eternity to poor Mike Pierce.
Rousimar’s heel-hook was the only submission on the card, and would be worthy of a $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus even if there were other subs to compete with. Instead, the UFC decided to withhold the SOTN bonus due to Palhares’s “unsportsmanlike conduct,” and UFC President Dana White claimed that Palhares would receive an additional punishment for his actions. Palhares previously received a 90-day slap on the wrist** for holding a heel-hook against Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111. Maybe the next punishment will be severe enough for him to actually pay attention.
* By the way, when Palhares showed up in the cage, he almost looked like the old Palhares again. Ah, the miracle of rehydration.