After being signed by the World Series of Fighting back in November, welterweight Rousimar Palhares is set to make his promotional debut this Saturday at WSOF 9. In the main event out of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, "Toquinho" will challenge 170 lb. champ Steve Carl.
Despite his high placement on the card, Palhares transition into the new promotion hasn't been completely absent of turbulence. Only two weeks prior to the event, the Nevada Athletic Commission required Palhares to fly to Las Vegas from his home in Brazil to take a pre-fight drug screening.
Toquinho isn't worried about the drug test, though:
"I think it’s a good opportunity to prove I’m completely clean," Palhares recently told MMAjunkie Radio through a translator. "I’m actually happy about that. It takes a whole lot of trouble out of my way. I’m clean – they can test me whenever they want, and nothing’s going to happen."
He also found a silver lining in having to move his camp to the U.S. a little early:
"I’m not upset at all," Palhares said. "There’s positive and negatives. I get to adapt earlier. I’m sleeping well because there is always a lot of jetlag."
The NAC decision to test Palhares wasn't made without reason. Only two fights ago for Toquinho, he tested positive for elevated testosterone following a losing effort against Hector Lombard at UFC on FX 6. The matchmaker for WSOF informed MMA Junkie that they expect to receive the results of the test on Wednesday.