Following his first round submission victory over Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29, Rousimar Palhares was banned from ever competing again in the UFC due to unsportsmanlike conduct. Dana White was not happy with how Palhares held on to his submission for an unnecessarily prolonged period of time even after the referee was trying to pry him off of Pierce.
Following the controversy, both Bellator and WSOF officials publicly stated they would not sign the thirty-three year old Brazilian submission specialist. However, recent statements by WSOF President Ray Sefo to MMAJunkie.com have indicated that his company might be reconsidering their original decision.
“Initially, I’ll admit I didn’t think World Series of Fighting should even entertain the idea of bring Palhares on board,” Sefo said to MMAJunkie.com. “But I’ve been speaking with our team, as well as some people I trust throughout the industry, and I’m not so sure he doesn’t deserve another chance.”
Sefo maintained that nothing has been set in stone yet, he’s just keeping his options open.
“We haven’t made any concrete decisions just yet, but I think maybe Palhares could be a valuable part of our organization.”
The WSOF President attributed his change of heart to an interview he saw on “The MMA Hour” featuring MMA legend Renzo Gracie.
“I was a little outraged at first, just like a lot of people were,” Sefo admitted. “But I think Renzo explained it very well, and it opened my eyes. I don’t think Palhares is a bad human being, and his skills as a fighter are undeniable. I’m starting to think he could potentially be a nice addition to our roster.”