Everybody knows how vicious a one-punch knockout can look in
MMA, but if there was the equivalent of that in the submission
world it has to be Rousimar Palhares and his uncanny ability to
grab hold of an opponent’s leg and pull like a ripcord until the
fight is over.
While there have been fighters that have slipped out of
Palhares’ leg locks, or managed to get free and live to tell the
tale, he is so devastating in those maneuvers that even though
every opponent knows it’s coming it is almost impossible to stop it
Count Mike Pierce as the latest victim of Palhares’ leg snapping
clinic that keeps orthopedic physicians in business.
Pierce tried to rush Palhares as soon as the fight started,
looking to overwhelm the Brazilian with strikes. What happened
instead was Palhares dropping to the mat and looking for a leg
immediately and relentlessly.
As calm as he is deadly, Palhares coiled around Pierce’s leg
like a snake and when he saw his opening he struck, locking his
forearm under the American’s heel and twisting like a tornado
tearing through a trailer park.
Pierce shrieked in pain as Palhares put everything he had into
his heel hook, and a moment later the fight was over. It took
Palhares only 31 seconds to send Pierce back to America with his
first loss in his last five fights while also becoming the only
fighter to finish him since coming to the UFC in 2009.
Following the win, Palhares broke down in tears as he dedicated
the victory to the memory of his cousin who passed away 20 days
ago. It was also a much-needed moment for Palhares, whose career
has been marred with losses and bad memories for much of the last
Getting the victory drops Palhares right into the thick of the
welterweight division while sending a warning shot to anyone at 170
pounds that they better work on their leg lock defense or suffer
the same consequences as Pierce did on Wednesday night.
[UPDATE: Palhares’ ankle-lock submission is now under investigation by the Brazilian
MMA Athletic Commission and the UFC has withheld a $50,000
Submission Of The Night award.]