Rousimar Palhares received disciplinary action by the New Jersey State Athletic Comission for taking too long to release his heel-hook submission on his UFC 111 opponent Tomasz Drwal. Although Palhares told media that he did not have the intention of injuring Drwal, he will still be penalized for his actions. Palhares apologized and explained exactly what was going through his mind while submitting Drwal with just 45 seconds into the fight.
Palhares told the press that he was taught to hold on to a submission until instructed by the referee to let go completely due to a tap out. MMA experts and fans may in fact agree with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert.
From Rousimar Palhares:
“I had no intention to hurt Tomasz…I never have; I am not like that…Unfortunately, there have been cases in the past where guys have tapped and then said they hadn’t tapped. This happened in a match in the UFC between my trainer, Murilo Bustamante, and Matt Lindland. Our attitude is to hold the position until the ref interrupts to avoid this happening to us again…I did not think the suspension was fair…I did not have any intent of hurting Drwal. It was in the heat of battle, and I wanted to make sure I did not lose the position. I was just waiting for the ref to interrupt the match…I just wanted to make 100 percent sure I had it, I have been through similar situations where I have lost positions due to oil and Vaseline that my opponents had applied to their legs.”
From Palhares’ interpreter and manager Alex Davis:
“Rousimar is a humble, simple guy…There’s not an ounce of maliciousness in him. That was the first minute of the fight, the adrenaline was high, he got the position, and wanted to make sure he finished. Maybe he held on a tad longer than he needed to, but, like I said, that’s an intense moment. This is MMA – the most intense form of fighting on the planet, and the other guy wants to punch your face in. I think the referee was just a little too far away…In MMA, things like this happen. Sometimes it has nothing to do with bad intentions, it’s just heat of the moment. I feel sorry for Drwal, and although I haven’t spoken to Rousimar or Murilo, I am sure that the first thing that Rousimar did was look Drwal up and apologize…Rousimar is freakish strong, and he had that position locked in…To make Rousimar into a dirty fighter over this is totally unfair; he is not. Rousimar will be back subbing guys shortly.”