Pierce injured but battling back

UFC welterweight Mike Pierce will find out the extent of the



target="_blank">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


target="_blank">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.