Italian MMA organization Venator FC has signed currently suspended former WSOF Champ Rousimar Palhares, and in the words of Venator FC promoter Frank Merenda, they just don’t “give a f***.”
“Rousimar is a great champion who has often found himself unfairly under fire for excessive holding [alleged or real] after opponents have tapped out,” Merenda said via press release. “But anyone who knows him knows that he is a good guy who never wants to hurt anyone. He’s a hard worker, a serious and respectful guy who genuinely loves the world of combat sports. Above all, he has a real desire to redeem himself in front of everyone and show that he is not the ‘monster’ that everyone talks about.”
The World Series of Fighting is still claiming to have Palhares under contract despite his two year suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission, but Venator has booked him for a May 21 fight. WSOF officials are claiming he’ll be in breach, but his manager Alex Davis claims the WSOF contract is simply not valid.
“They trashed Rousimar in public and then went against him in front of the commission,” Davis said in an interview with MMAFighting.com. “They can’t use him for the next two years. He needs to feed his family. And they have been notified by our lawyer as to why the contract is no longer valid. If they want, they can take it up with our lawyer. But from our perspective, the contract is expired.
“My job as a manager is to inform my fighter of all the offers he gets and give my opinion on the pros and cons. I told Rousimar the pros and cons [of fighting while suspended]. At the end of the day, he needs to eat. He needs to provide for his family. So, he decided to take the fight.”
Additionally, Meranda added a comment via social media in Italian that went directly after the WSOF as well.
“In any case, we do not care what you think WSOF,” Merenda wrote. “Toquinho will fight in our organization because we love him, the Italian fans love him and he has a family and has the right to be put in the work to maintain conditions.
“I’m tired of organizations working to ruin the lives of other people.”
Penick’s Analysis: This organization is the same one booking Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Yeah, they really “don’t give a f***.” It’s ridiculous, and Palhares is essentially going to be left fighting outside of any sanctioned venues for the rest of his career by going through with the bout. Can’t have sympathy for the man, though; he’s not learned from his actions at all, and no amount of apologizing for him from those who would enable him like Davis and Merenda here is going to make him fighting a more palatable idea. He’s a danger to any and every opponent he’ll face, and anyone willing to step in there with him still will be doing so at their peril. But he’s refused time and again to take responsibility for doing anything wrong in these past fights, and now we’ve got Venator playing the victim card on his behalf.
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