World Series of Fighting welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares (pictured) took a lot of heat from WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz for his abrupt decision to withdraw from his July 5 title defense against fellow former UFC star Jon Fitch.
“Enough is enough,” Abdel-Aziz told reporter Ariel Helwani. “We’re getting screwed. I’m trying to put on a fight card and be nice to fighters, and now they don’t want to fight each other.
“I’m getting sick of this. If a fighter is not going to respect the promotion, he is going to be shelved for a long time. I will not release anyone to another promotion. Fighters must honor their contracts.”
Well, Palhares broke his silence Wednesday and he seems to have a pretty good reason for bailing. The submission specialist revealed his mother is sick and he wants to help nurse her back to health.
Here is Palhares’ complete statement (courtesy of MMAFighting):
My friends, I love this sport, and will never give up on a fight. Accept any challenge, is the mark of a true warrior.
Unfortunately right now my family and I, we are facing a big fight, the fight for health, for life. My mother had 13 children, and devoted her life to educate and raised me, my brothers and sisters. At this point God tells me that I need to focus 100 percent of my life to take care of my mother. I’m doing everything possible, dedicating myself to the fullest in order to ensure that the person who put me in this world will be health again.
It wouldn’t be fair to Jon Fitch, to the fans that look up to me, and also with the WSOF if I go out there to performance myself without being in the best of my shape, technique and psychological conditions. It wouldn’t be fair to the MMA, our sport always determines that the athlete should be at his best limit to compete, it is no room for a mistake.
I understand that in the business field and as the capitalist world that we live in today that decision may not please everyone, but I’m a human being just like everyone else. As a good son it’s time for me to take care of my mother, she needs me.
WSOF 11 will feature lightweight champ Justin Gaethje against Nick Newell. In addition, former UFC fighters Melvin Guillard and Jake Shields are expected to make their promotional debuts, with their respective opponents to be determined shortly.