Palhares asks UFC for forgiveness

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

White.”

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

continue working.”