Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
In the third bout of the UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes main card, Rousimar Palhares struck even more fear into the legs of fighters everywhere with a quick and brutal heel hook submission of Mike Massenzio. It was over in just 63 seconds, with Massenzio screaming in pain as he tapped and spending a long time lying on the mat while Palhares ran around doing an Incredible Hulk impression. Basically, it looked like many other Toquinho fights.
Palhares opened the bout with some strong leg kicks. Massenzio tried to answer with a jab, but another Palhares kick landed low and forced Massenzio to take a timeout. Once the fight started again, Toquinho followed a leg kick with a takedown, and eventually grabbed a leg when Massenzio managed to (almost) get back up. Palhares took a second to lock it on and forced the tap shortly thereafter.
What was the high spot of this fight?
The heel hook finish. Palhares is a beast and has made a career out of these sorts of submissions. Watching him win in that fashion is like a scene of macabre beauty.
Where do these guys go from here?
Palhares has a huge reputation and a 7-2 record in the UFC, but doesn't really have a huge victory over a contender yet. He has lost both times he faced a major step up in competition. The inevitable call for him to face a top guy again has already started, but it's tough to find a logical fight for him. Alan Belcher? The winner of the Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch bout scheduled for UFC 144? Brian Stann? We'll just have to wait and see what the UFC wants to do with him.
Massenzio drops to 2-4 in the UFC and 1-2 in this stretch, though one of the losses was at a late replacement in a 205-pound bout. He might be out for a while with a leg injury, but I expect him to get another fight in the organization. A matchup with Brad Tavares would be a good bout to assess whether Massenzio deserves to stay in the UFC or not.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. It's only a minute long, and Palhares is a monster. What's not to like?