Since World Series of Fighting held its latest event the same night as the UFC (yes, once again), you may have missed that Rousimar Palhares quickly tapped Jon Fitch on Saturday night. If so, then you may also be unaware that yet again, there’s debate as to whether the leglocks master held on to the finishing sub for too long….
Palhares was able to pull Fitch to the mat shortly into the WSOF 16 headliner, and immediately he started hunting for a heelhook. When that didn’t materialize, Palhares rolled into a kneebar, and Fitch was forced to tap out a few seconds later.
Based off what you see on the video, which is posted below, “Toquinho” didn’t release the finishing technique when Fitch was tapping, but when the ref jumped in. That’s what any fighter is supposed to do, according to the rules, but some folks are questioning whether Palhares released the kneebar as soon as the ref came in.
Well, clearly Palhares believes he didn’t hold on to the sub for too long, in fact, he sounds pretty upset about that there’s even a debate. While speaking to MMA Fighting.com after the bout, the UFC vet stated:
“I still have to deal with those critics, but I don’t understand why people try to humiliate me like that,” Palhares said. “I just go inside the cage to try to be the best I can be. I don’t hold submissions.”
“You can see fighters punching opponents two or three times after they are already knocked out,” he continued. “For an example, see for how long Ronda Rousey holds her armbars. I don’t think she’s wrong. In this sport, you won’t survive if you don’t lock the position really tight. I believe I did what I should have done to win. I didn’t do anything wrong. They are just trying to humiliate me because I submit people, or for other reasons I don’t know.”
Well, there are some well documented reasons why folks continue to review Palhares’ submission wins, most notably, because of the extended, heel hook he used to defeat and injure Mike Pierce. That incident prompted the UFC to ban Palhares from the promotion, and the fighter came over to WSOF where he’s now the reigning, welterweight champ.
Now, debate over the fight’s finish aside, it was a huge and impressive win for Palhares. Fitch is Guerrilla BJJ black belt who has only been submitted three times in over 30 pro, MMA bouts. Hopefully Fitch’s knee is okay and he won’t be sidelined for very long.
WSOF 16 went down at the McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento, California.