Rousimar Palhares – The Heel Hook and The Storm That Follows
By Christopher Jester
There was a reason to wait and be patient Saturday at World Series of Fighting 9. The controversial Rousimar Palhares was in an immediate title shot against WSOF Welterweight Champion Steve Carl and this was an opportunity not only for the UFC castoff but for WSOF as well. There was no need to wait too long because Palhares scored his infamous heel hook to steal away the championship. For it to go without a hitch, WSOF had to breathe a sigh of relief.
Although Palhares was met with criticism once again for his submission victory, he still captured a title in his first fight outside of the UFC against an opponent who is no slouch. While Carl is isn’t a household name, he did very well in his title winning effort against Josh Burkman. But the ease of Palhares’s victory over Carl is a testament to how dangerous the welterweight is.
The problem for “Toquinho” and World Series of Fighting from here on out is that Palhares will remain under the spotlight. Just like Saturday night, people will find ways to scrutinize his submission victories. If he holds onto the submission and his opponent is tapping but the referee does not break up the submission, then he is guilty. If the referee intervenes and he holds on one second longer, he is guilty. World Series of Fighting will have a hard time avoiding the condemnation from media and fans as long as Palhares is under their banner. Especially since some media members will cry foul at every Palhares submission.
For a fighter that is 16-5 as a professional, Palhares’s previous controversies will always follow him. No matter how much better he gets, or wherever he goes – his past will follow him. He could mean no harm by the threat of his dangerous submissions. Regardless, they look extremely dangerous and Palhares looks like a man ready to take a limb home with him. For that reason, he is damned either way.
The reality is Palhares has put himself at the mercy of public opinion with his past antics. There are those in the media that believe he should have let go of the submission as soon as Carl tapped. Are our memories so short? We all remember the hilariously stupid incident where he stopped punching a smashed Dan Miller and jump on top of the Octagon only to realize that Herb Dean had not stopped the fight. If Palhares is to be crucified for his past, then referees should also be held responsible as well.
He will walk a fine line for the rest of his career. He could remain one controversial submission away from being banned from World Series of Fighting. What comes after that? How many more organizations are going to take a chance on the Brazilian? As promising as Palhares is, he remains a liability. World Series of Fighting will have to remain cautious on how they handle their new welterweight champion. As much as a draw he will be for them, particularly for those looking to find some reason to antagonize the Brazilian, he can do little wrong before he is fed to the lions.
Rousimar Palhares has not made life easy for himself. There is an aura surrounding him, but not a good one but also a threatening one at the same time. Everyone seems ready to stick a fork in his career as each submission victory is held under the microscope. While World Series of Fighting may have gained a new welterweight champion, they may have very well gained a world of bad media attention. The storm surrounds Palhares, and where it rains it storms. WSOF will have to put up their umbrellas to face the oncoming hell they are about to receive.
Rousimar ‘Toquinho’ Palhares Highlight Video – ‘Engine of destruction’
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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