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07th Jun 2016

Slaying MMA’s dirtiest fighter was enough to earn Emil Meek a fight in the UFC

Big time calling

Darragh Murphy

Not many fighters are as despised as Rousimar Palhares.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist has a long-standing reputation for fighting dirty, with his tendency to continue cranking submissions long after his opponents had tapped ultimately leading to his being cut from the UFC in 2013.

Palhares was dropped from the UFC payroll after he held on to a heel hook on Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields long after Pierce had tapped.

Palhares then went on a vicious tear in World Series of Fighting, beating Steve Carl, Jon Fitch and Jake Shields, but his nasty habits followed him and he was let go by WSOF after, again, failing to let go of a submission on Shields last August.

But then justice came in the form of an unheralded welterweight from Norway named Emil Meek who upset the odds and kept his ligaments intact when he brutally stopped Palhares in the first minute of their Venator clash last month.

The performance would turn out to be a career-defining one as it prompted the UFC to offer Meek a chance to showcase his skills on the world stage.

News broke on Tuesday morning that the welterweight (8-2-1, 1NC) had been added to the UFC Hamburg card which takes place on September 3.

Meek takes on fellow newcomer Jessin Ayari on the card that will be headlined by a heavyweight match-up between Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett.

Remember the name because big things are expected of ‘Valhalla.’