Pierce injured but battling back

UFC welterweight Mike Pierce will find out the extent of the
suffered at the hands of Rousimar Palhares
during an MRI that’s been scheduled for Monday in his home state of

Pierce was submitted in the first round of his bout at UFC Fight
Night: Maia vs. Shields last Wednesday by a heel hook courtesy of
the Brazilian submission master, but after initially tapping out,
Palhares held onto the hold for additional time while putting
pressure on the knee and ankle.

Pierce shrieked out in pain when the submission was applied, and
the extra seconds that Palhares held onto the heel hook
eventually cost him his job with the UFC after
they deemed the act unsportsmanlike conduct
and released him
from his contract.

Following the event, Pierce traveled home with his coach Phil
Claud, who informed FOX Sports on Sunday about the upcoming medical
examinations to find out the damage done to his leg after the heel
hook submission.

“Mike will know the extent of the damage to his knee and ankle
tomorrow after his evaluation and MRI with one of Oregon’s top
orthopedic surgeons,” Claud wrote via text message. “As a coach and
friend I hate to see any athlete go through what Mike is going
through. I as his coach take total responsibility for the game plan
that put Mike in a career-ending situation.”

Claud initially told FOX Sports last week that the hope was
Pierce’s leg wasn’t too badly damaged and that he would recover
with some physical therapy and time off from training. He will
still undergo the MRI and additional examination to verify if there
was structural or long-term damage done to his knee or ankle from
the submission.

“Mike will be back to fight another day but the unfortunate fact
is that he is injured,” Claud said. “At this time, Mike needs the
support of all MMA fans, friends and family so he can return to
doing what he loves to do — fight in the UFC.”

The loss in Brazil marked the end of Pierce’s four-fight win
streak, but the final act by Palhares could end up costing the
former wrestler much more if there is significant damage done to
his knee.