Palhares tears through Pierce

Mike Pierce screams while getting submitted by Rousimar Palhares
Rousimar Palhares' ankle-lock sub on Mike Pierce is now under investigation.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


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 from happening.

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 18 months.

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.]

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