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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The World Series of Fighting has clarified the situation with Rousimar Palhares after an initial announcement that they were suspending him indefinitely along with stripping him of their Welterweight Title.
In a press release sent out on Tuesday afternoon, WSOF President Ray Sefo stated that Palhares' suspension is pending a resolution of issues stemming from his fight with Jake Shields, which will come when the Nevada Athletic Commission has their say on the matter.
"After taking the time to review the footage from Saturday's bout between Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields in its entirety, we decided that stripping Rousimar of his title and issuing him a suspension until this issue is resolved, was necessary," Sefo said.
"As a fighter with over two decades of ring experience, I am always going to be an advocate for other fighters and, in this case, I feel that World Series of Fighting must protect its athletes and rules of competition by imposing swift and firm disciplinary action to address what we saw as unfair play in the cage.
"...Because of specific instances in the past in which Rousimar had arguably held his submission holds longer than necessary in competition, Steve Mazzagatti gave Rousimar clear verbal instructions in the dressing room, before the fight, about listening to and obeying the referee's commands, including those about letting go of a submission hold when instructed to do so."
The NAC will make some determination on both Palhares' actions and Jake Shields punching Palhares after the stoppage in the near future. For now, they withheld Palhares' win bonus pending their review.
Penick's Analysis: This clarification is necessary, as them simply having an "indefinite" suspension placed on Palhares doesn't fly when they're not the governing body. They can't simply sideline him and not allow him to fight elsewhere if he's essentially cleared by a commission, so they'll need to release him if they're not going to book him (and that should be their next move regardless of what the NAC does with the case).
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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