ANALYSIS: Comparing the disgusting submissions of Rousimar Palhares to those of a true BJJ fighter 8 years ago

ANALYSIS: Comparing the disgusting submissions of Rousimar Palhares to those of a true BJJ fighter

Submission - to stop trying to fight or resist something : to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing.

The basic tenet of the tap out in Jiu Jitsu, Judo or any other martial art is that you are calling an end to the contest because of an inability to continue fighting.


It is often what separates street fights from regulated bouts as the athletes agree to a rule that submission holds will be released when one fighter concedes defeat.

There is one fighter whose name continues to be associated with the antithesis of this idea and he almost embraces his reputation as a fighter more interested in hurting opposition than winning fights. His name is Rousimar Palhares.

Saturday night saw the latest in a litany of incidents in which the now former World Series of Fighting welterweight champion refused to release a submission despite the numerous taps of his opponent and/or the attempts of the referee to pry the fighters apart.


Jake Shields admitted he was bested, stopped fighting and tapped at least 10 times when his shoulder was being cranked in the kimura of the Brazilian but it still took several seconds for Palhares to let go.

The incident has led to the WSOF's decision to strip Palhares of his title, suspend him indefinitely and he also faces a temporary suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Cementing himself as a recidivist of such behaviour, we've decided to show the difference between the mentality of Rousimar Palhares and that of a true submission fighter like Demian Maia.

One of the first examples of Palhares' tendency to hang on to leg locks came in 2010 when the stocky Brazilian failed to release a heel hook on Tomasz Drwal and the referee literally had to pull Palhares' grip apart.


Compare that to the UFC debut of fellow countryman Demian Maia who submitted Ryan Jensen in the first round via rear naked choke and needed about two taps before letting go of the sub.

Not only did he show respect for the art of submission but Maia was quick to check that Jensen was OK and offer his congratulations for a good fight.


To be fair, Palhares was a little bit quicker off the mark in his next victory but opponent David Branch still needed referee intervention to prevent his knee from being torn apart.

Meanwhile Maia repeated his sportsmanship next time around as he felt that Ed Herman was unconscious after being trapped in a triangle so released the figure four and called an end to the contest himself.


Yet again we were left wondering what would become of his opponents' lower legs if not for the referee's presence in the octagon when Palhares cranked on Mike Massenzio's heel in 2012 but began to give him the benefit of the doubt as he let go as soon as the referee instructed him to do so.

Maia's respect for the tap rendered the referee redundant when the Brazilian met Jason MacDonald in 2008 and, again, he made sure to offer his hand to the beaten fighter after the bout.

Any benefit of the doubt being given to Palhares was immediately eliminated in Toquinho's next victory as he lingered disgustingly long on the submission of Mike Pierce, a decision which saw him cut from the UFC roster for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Maia was continuing to do the exact opposite and, while it will go down as a TKO rather than a submission, his sportsmanship came to the fore against Dong Hyun Kim who injured himself while being taken down by the Brazilian at UFC 148. Rather than pound on the hurt fighter, Maia decided that the fight was over and stepped away from Kim.

We were hopeful that Palhares would turn over a new leaf when he signed for World Series of Fighting in 2014 but all hope was torn asunder like the ligaments of Steve Carl in Palhares' promotional debut.

Maia's final submission before that of Neil Magny on Saturday came over Rick Story in 2012 when, again, just a simple tap sufficed and Maia knew the contest was over.

Meanwhile Palhares' final submission before that of Jake Shields on Saturday was a kneebar of Jon Fitch which could well be the worst instance of holding on to locks for too long.

For any younger fans looking to use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as their base before venturing into mixed martial arts, we would urge you to model yourselves on Demian Maia, a fierce grappler but one who is in it for the sport rather than to injure people.

Not only will you be respected more by peers and fans but you will also avoid any danger of becoming one of the most hated fighters in the world, a position in which Rousimar Palhares now finds himself.