World Series of Fighting yesterday signed former UFC welterweight/middleweight Rousimar Palhares to a multi-fight contract, and the fighter nicknamed “Toquino” will make his WSOF debut early next year. The signing was confirmed by Palhares himself via Twitter, and corroborated by WSOF president Ray Sefo. It’s an interesting signing, to say the least, and to be honest, I’m not really sure what to think of it. Although Palhares is an incredibly-talented leg-lock specialist — arguably the best in the world — he has on numerous occasions held on to his opponents’ limbs too long after locking in a submission, and it’s the reason why the UFC cut him in October. In a highly-publicized release, UFC president Dana White cut Palhares just days after he submitted Mike Pierce with a heel hook at UFC Fight Night 29 because he held on to the hold far too long despite the referee trying to push him off of his opponent, and he injured Pierce’s knee in the process. White said that Palhares would never fight in the UFC again, and after he became a free agent, Bellator said they wouldn’t sign him either. But WSOF has, and they are certainly taking a risk. Although Palhares is a talented fighter, he is known as a headcase and has been popped for PEDs within the last calendar year. And since he’s not a star that will move the needle, I don’t see the upside of the signing, to be honest. At the same time, though, he is a good fighter and there are some interesting matchups to make for him in WSOF, such as fights against Steve Carl and Josh Burkman, although Jon Fitch has already said he won’t fight him. We’ll see if Palhares can change his ways in WSOF, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s on a short leash and if he screws up just once, I expect WSOF to cut him. New UFC Fights Announced Four new UFC fights were announced yesterday. Here they are:
- Peggy Morgan vs. Jessamyn Duke — TUF 18 Finale: this fight between two women who didn’t make it to the finals of TUF will take place this weekend. Expect a betting line for the bout soon.
- Ben Wall vs. Alex Garcia — UFC Fight Night 33: Wall is an injury replacement for an injured Andreas Stahl and will take on Canadian Alex Garcia at next weekend’s UFC Fight Night 33 event.
- Cristiano Marcello vs. Joe Proctor — UFC Fight Night 36: this match between TUF Live alum will take place next February in Brazil. It’s a last-chance fight for both men, for sure.
- Pascal Krauss vs. Adam Khaliev — UFC on FOX 10: this matchup between two highly-regarded welterweight strikers takes place in January and it should be terrific. Krauss is already a solid UFC vet, while Khaliev is an emerging prospect. This one should be fun.
All in all another big day in MMA news — but when is it not?