Rousimar Palhares has issued a public apology to the UFC and its
president Dana White, just two days after being released from the
UFC for holding on to a heel hook past the referee’s instruction to
release it during a win last Wednesday.
In a 5-minute, 37-second public message posted to his YouTube
channel, Palhares also addressed his opponent Mike Pierce as well
as his own history, saying that it’s never been his intention to
hurt anyone he’s competed against. But he saved his closing remarks
for the UFC president, perhaps in a last-ditch effort to get White
to reverse course.
“Dana White, if you think my attitude was not positive inside
the octagon, I ask that you, an open-hearted man, you forgive me.
I’m sorry, okay?” he said. “Because that was not my
intention. But I respect the decision of the UFC and Dana
Palhares was released on Thursday, less than 24 hours his latest
in-cage troubles. It was the second time during his five-year UFC
career that Palhares was flagged for the same infraction. The first
came in 2010, when he held on to the same move against Tomasz
Drwal, drawing a 90-day suspension from the New Jersey State
Athletic Control Board.
In the Pierce incident, White didn’t wait for Brazil’s CABMMA
sanctioning body to hand down a penalty, publicly cutting Palhares
from his contract on U.S. television. Palhares was later suspended
120 days by CABMMA.
Offering his side of the story, Palhares explained that because
Pierce had defended his first leg lock attempt, he was focused on
ensure the victory and that because Pierce tapped on the referee,
he did not immediately know he was trying to submit.
He also compared his own situation to that of another one that
occurred on the same night, when Dong Hyun Kim scored a one-strike
knockout, but landed another punch on the already-unconscious Erick
Silva. But in that instance, the referee was late to arrive and Kim
threw the punch before being stopped. In Palhares’ instance,
replays showed that he gave Pierce’s knee one final torque even
after the referee stepped in.
Palhares said being released will make him reconsider how he
fights, but said he would continue chasing his goal of being one of
the world’s best fighters.
The 33-year-old, who came from abject poverty to find fame and
late infamy in mixed martial arts, has a 15-5 career record.
“In the fight I only wanted to win the fight,” he said. “I do
not want to kill my opponent. I just want to win. I will not stop
running after my dream. I worked hard to get here and I will