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Abdel-Aziz: Palhares may be stripped of WSOF title following controversial Shields win

Rousimar Palhares' status as World Series of Fighting welterweight champion may be in jeopardy pending a review of his actions in his fight with Jake Shields on Saturday night.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Rousimar Palhares became the first man to ever submit Jake Shields in MMA competition on Saturday night, but it's a Rousimar Palhares fight, so the scrutiny over the length of how long he held onto the fight-finishing kimura has been heavy. There was also substantial questioning over his eye gouging tactics throughout the 2nd round, which netted several warnings from Steve Mazzagatti but no point deduction.

WSOF VP Ali Abdel-Aziz, who already said the Nevada Athletic Commission has withheld Palhares' win bonus for the time being, spoke with MMA Fighting and suggested that Palhares could be stripped of the belt pending a review of his actions:

"You have to understand, I'm the guy who f**king stood up for him," Abdel-Aziz said. "I don't know if you remember or not, but I'm the guy who said, ‘you know what, I'm going to sign him.' If I go back on tape and watch that f**king fight tomorrow, and if I see Palhares held too long, and did the eye poking a couple times, he might be stripped of the title. And Jake Shields would fight the winner between (Yushin) Okami and (Jon) Fitch for the title, and I would suspend [Palhares]."

Palhares' UFC career ended in controversial fashion when he didn't release a heel hook on Mike Pierce in a timely manner. Factoring in his suspension for the same offense against Tomasz Drwal and tensions are always high when he has a submission secured. Abdel-Aziz later continued to talk about Rousimar in-depth:

"I like Palhares, I think he's a nice guy, but I think he has problems," Abdel-Aziz said. "I think he has problems, and we had an amazing event, and he didn't have to hold (the submission late). He didn't have to hold at all because he won, he tapped him. Let him go. Let the guy go."

According to Abdel-Aziz, he also believes Mazzagatti should've deducted a point for the repeated eye-gouging infractions. You can see GIFs and highlights of Palhares' win over Shields here.