The UFC and Bellator may want nothing to do with Rousimar Palhares (pictured), but that doesn’t mean World Series of Fighting doesn’t want a piece of the controversial welterweight.
Palhares has inked a multi-fight deal to join the upstart mixed martial arts organization. The 33-year-old will make his promotion debut in early 2014.
“Rousimar is one of the most talented athletes in mixed martial arts, and we’re excited to have him as a part of our organization,” WSOF president Ray Sefo said.
The UFC fired Palhares in October after submitting Mike Pierce with a heel hook in merely 31 seconds on at UFC Fight Night 29. After Pierce surrendered and the referee came crashing in to stop the fight, Palhares continued to twist on his ankle for a couple extra ticks.
Despite posting the lone tap out on the card, the UFC denied Palhares a $50,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” UFC president Dana White banned him from the promotion less than 24 hours later.
Palhares pulled a similar stunt in 2010 when he continued his heel hook attack on Tomasz Drwal after he cried uncle at UFC 111.
On top of all that, Palhares was fresh off serving a nine-month testosterone suspension.
Although he’s arguably the deadliest leg lock assassin in MMA, Bellator didn’t want anything to do with Palhares following his firing.
“Toquinho” owns a 15-5 professional record, with 11 of his wins coming via submission.
Updated 11/26/13 at 7:12 AM PT:
Palhares has confirmed his signing with WSOF via Twitter:
“I’m happy to be part of @MMAWorldSeries I’m ready to bring great fights to WSOF fans!!”