The World Series of Fighting 22 main event between Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields is perhaps one of the most controversial fights of the year. 'Toquinho' locked up a fight-ending kimura on Shields in the third round to retain the welterweight title but was stripped of his championship on Tuesday for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Brazilian was penalised for gouging Shields' eyes and holding onto the submission after referee Steve Mazzagatti had intervened. Former UFC title-challenger Jake Shields had also tapped several times but his surrender only spurred Palhares on to apply extra torque to the submission. After the submission ace released the kimura, Shields punched his opponent after the bell, which has left the NSAC with no choice but to suspend the American indefinitely - Palhares will also serve a temporary suspension.
WSOF strips Palhares of the WW title
After yet another incident of holding a submission too long, World Series of Fighting has stripped Rousimar Palhares of his title.
Palhares' actions in particular have sent the MMA world into a frenzy. Several MMA fighters immediately took to Twitter after the bout to rally for a lifetime ban of the former UFC contender. Yet, amidst all the backlash, the Rio de Janeiro local feels he's done nothing wrong.
Yesterday, Rousimar tried to deflect criticism by accusing Jake Shields of cheating during their championship clash. According to Toquinho, the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu student was smothered in vaseline.
"That makes me sad. Jake Shields is unbelievable. He's a total a-hole," Palhares told MMAFighting. "I couldn't believe someone could be such an a-hole. He has no respect for me, for the sport, for anyone. He's dishonest. He had Vaseline all over his body, he was more slippery than a okra. I couldn't grab a hold of him for nothing."
In the weeks leading up to the fight, Jake Shields referred to Palhares as a 'dirty sociopath', citing his history of extended submission holds which resulted in the UFC releasing him from the organisation in 2013. The former WSOF champion brushed Shield's comments aside before the bout but was furious with his actions inside the cage.
"I wasn't mad at him before the fight, but the things that happened during the fight made me pissed. He's calling me a dirty fighter, but he's the one with Vaseline all over his body. That's dirty. And he also threw things at me while I was talking to the media after the fight. I was upset with things he said before the fight, but I became pissed with everything that happened in the fight.
"He had so much Vaseline that I could barely stand back up after we went to the ground for the first time. I couldn't event throw a kick or go for a takedown, I couldn't hold him at all because he was too slippery."
The application of vaseline on fighters was a hot talking point in 2009 after Georges St-Pierre had defeated B.J. Penn at UFC 94. The Hawaiian had accused his opponent of 'greasing' and claimed Pierre was too slippery to hold in the grappling exchanges. Penn's accusations prompted the UFC change their rules shortly after the controversy; cornermen would no longer be able to apply vaseline in between rounds, instead, cut men would do the job.
WSOF and the NSAC have not yet commented on Palhares' accusations, but both he and Jake Shields will stand before the commission for a disciplinary hearing on September 13th.