Mike Pierce is apparently no fan of his upcoming opponent, Rousimar Palhares. In a recent interview, Pierce called Palhares a “cheat,” citing his test results for elevated testosterone and his UFC 111 suspension for holding a submission after the referee stopped the bout.
He said to ESPN:
“Of course, I’m pissed off. I want to start getting those main card fights against notable guys. Palhares has fought some tough guys. He’s got a little bit of credence to his name but I want to start working my up. This guy is coming off two losses and I’m on a four-fight win streak. Typically, they don’t match up guys like that. I haven’t had too much interaction with Joe Silva. I’ve had brief words with him. He’s not a huge fan of most people who smash guys up against the fence and grind on them, hit them on the side, that sort of stuff — which, I get. That’s not exciting. He’s like, ‘I don’t care if it’s a submission, a TKO or a knockout. Look for finishes.’ I get that, but it’s hard to do that sometimes when a guy is fresh or you have two skilled fighters. It’s hard to catch them sleeping. And I have had two good finishes in my last three fights.
“There was that one clear, obvious [cheat] where (Palhares) held it when the referee told him to let go and he got fined by a commission (UFC 111). Then recently, he tested positive for elevated testosterone levels (UFC on FX 6), so this guy is definitely a cheat. There’s no surprise. He’ll do anything to win because he’s either desperate or an asshole. I’m not too concerned about that. I come in expecting he’s going to be mean, try to be a bully, try to cheat — I have to deal with it.”
Cheater or not, Palhares will be a tough opponent to deal with. He’s coming off of back to back losses, but has picked up seven wins in the UFC since signing with them in 2008, five of them by submission. Palhares currently holds a 14-5 record.
Pierce meanwhile bounced back from a split decision loss to Josh Koscheck with four straight wins over the past year, two by KO/TKO. He is 17-5 in his MMA career.
Their match up has been set for UFC Fight Night 29, which will take place on October 9 at the Ginásio José Corrêa in Barueri, Brazil.