Rousimar Palhares has been suspended for two years and fined $40,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his controversial submission victory over Jake Shields at World Series of Fighting 22.
The former WSOF welterweight champion was indefinitely suspended from the promotion after his latest victory over former Strikeforce titleholder on Aug. 1. Palhares defended his title for the second time, but not before reigniting what criticisms the MMA community had developed for him. “Toquinho” was seen raking his fingers over Shields’ eyes throughout the bout, receiving a warning from referee Steve Mazzagatti. Palhares went on to win the bout via kimura submission in the round, seemingly holding onto the submission for too long.
Palhares — who was without a lawyer Thursday, according to Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter — claimed he thought Shields was kneeing him on the back, not tapping out on his rear end.
It wasn’t the first time Palhares had been accused of excessively holding a submission, he’d been kicked out of the UFC two years prior for holding onto a heel hook against Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29 in October 2013. UFC President Dana White vowed to never allow Palhares back into the promotion.
Palhares’ longtime manager, Alex Davis, called on veteran referee “Big” John McCarthy to testify against Mazzagatti’s actions. The request quickly backfired, as McCarthy claimed the bout should have ended once Shields began tapping, not after interference from the referee. McCarthy also analyzed the video evidence to prove how Palhares’ actions should be considered unsportsmanlike conduct.