UFC middleweight contender Rousimar Palhares is finally getting help, people. Palhares recently told MMA Fighting‘s new star Dave Doyle that he’s been seeing a sports psychologist, and that he expects it to help him Saturday night against Alan Belcher on the UFC on Fox 3 card. ”‘Yeah he’s helped me,’ Palhares said through interpreter and manager Alex David. ‘He’s helped so that when I get into a fight, I get focused on the fight and I don’t get distracted by anything else,’” Doyle reports.
Palhares has provided some of the most scarily entertaining moments in MMA in recent years. Most of those moments were nasty submissions, but a good amount have also just come from his bizarre behavior in the ring.
Let’s leave aside his cranking submissions after referees have stepped in to stop the action, as he is wont to do, and look only at his 2010 fight against Nate Marquardt and his 2011 bout against Dan Miller. Against Marquardt, Palhares stopped fighting to complain to the referee about something and was promptly TKO’d by Nate.
In the fight with Miller, Palhares dropped the Jersey fighter with a kick, followed up with some strikes on the ground and walked off in celebration, arms in the air. The only problem? The referee never stopped the fight.
Referee Herb Dean prodding Palhares to get off the top of the Octagon cage, where he was celebrating, and continue to fight Miller was one of the
goofiest most awesome things we’d seen in awhile. In fact, it was so great that we won’t even link up to it, we’ll paste it right here for you, smack dab in the middle of this post:
Palhares is a great fighter and is fast-rising in the 185 pound division, but dude seems a bit off. That’s a big part of why we love him.
He tells Doyle that he began working with the sports psychologist after the Miller incident and that it has helped him focus on the matter at hand while competing, instead of getting distracted. In all seriousness, good for him.
There’s no stigma attached to athletes who get psychological help anymore. Palhares is also in good company, even within the UFC – both Rashad Evans and Georges St. Pierre have spoken at length about their seeing sports psychologists.
So, if the head docs out there are going to help out our beloved “Paul Harris” focus on maiming people inside the ring, that’s fine with us. But if we stop getting crazy “hulk-up” celebrations and “what did I do?” confused looks of innocence after holding on to submissions for 36 minutes after his opponents tap-out, from Palhares, so help us, mental health community, we will never forgive you.