February 20, 1980 |
Dores do Indaiá, Brazil
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||173.9 lb (78.9 kg; 12.42 st)|
Light Heavyweight (2006–2007)
|Reach||71.0 in (180 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
Brazilian Top Team
|Rank||1st degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Murilo Bustamante
1st degree black belt in Luta Livre
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship|
Rousimar Christian Palhares (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁowziˈmaʁ paˈʎaɾiʃ];, born February 20, 1980) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist. A professional competitor since 2006, he has competed for the UFC, World Series of Fighting, and KSW. His nickname Toquinho (Portuguese pronunciation: [toˈkĩɲu]), Portuguese for "little tree stump", comes from his short, stocky, heavily muscled build and the low success rate his opponents have had in grappling him down to the canvas. Palhares is primarily known for his powerful ground game. Of his 15 submission victories 11 have come from leg locks. He is also known for his refusal to release submission holds when either the opposing fighter has signaled submission or the referee has called a stop to the bout.
Early life and education
Palhares grew up in abject poverty in the Brazilian countryside. He recalls working in the fields to help support his family as young as age seven and said that there were times where there was not enough food for everyone. He eventually had to leave his shanty and move underneath a local bridge in a tent city slum. Palhares began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 15, before moving to Rio de Janeiro to compete professionally.
He claimed the Fury Fighting Championship Middleweight Championship in December 2007 after defeating Flavio Mura, Pan-Am Jiu-Jitsu champion Fabio Negao, and Chute Boxe's Daniel Acacio in a tournament.
Palhares earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under former UFC Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante and Bebeo Duarte. Experts in martial arts touted Palhares as one of the most naturally gifted grapplers today.
Having spent his entire early career competing in Brazil, Palhares' first bout outside his home country was in the United States at UFC 84. He is considered to be one of the best in the world at leg locks, such as the heel hook and kneebar. Palhares took 2nd place in the under 88 kg 2011 ADCC, finishing his first three opponents quickly with leg locks, before losing to established World Champion Andre Galvao in the final, by points.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Palhares quickly rebounded from the loss to defeat veteran Jeremy Horn at UFC 93 by unanimous decision. Palhares was expected to face Italian Alessio Sakara on December 5, 2009 at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, but due to an injury while training, Sakara had to withdraw. On December 12, 2009 at UFC 107 Palhares fought against Lucio Linhares and defeated Linhares by heel hook.
At UFC 111, Palhares defeated Tomasz Drwal by heel hook 45 seconds into the first round. He was, however, subsequently suspended for 90 days for continuing to crank the submission even after Drwal had tapped and referee Kevin Mulhall stepped in to stop the fight.
Palhares was expected to face Nate Marquardt on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118, however the bout was moved to September 15, 2010 to headline UFC Fight Night 22 after Alan Belcher was forced to pull out of his bout with Demian Maia with an eye injury. Marquardt defeated Palhares via first round TKO. During the fight, Palhares claimed that Marquardt had greased his leg after failing to secure a leg lock on the ground. Marquardt attacked, catching Palhares off guard as he was complaining to the referee and won the fight through a ground-and-pound stoppage. Palhares would later apologize for his actions during the fight after it was determined by officials that Marquardt's leg was not greased.
Palhares was expected to face Alexandre Ferreira on March 3, 2011 at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann. However, on January 18, Ferreira was dismissed from Chute Boxe, his home training camp, for a "lack of commitment." Less than an hour later, it was reported that the fight had been cancelled due to Ferreira losing family and friends in the Brazilian floods, resulting in him being in "no condition to train or fight." David Branch replaced Ferriera. Palhares defeated Branch via second round submission (kneebar).
Palhares/Ferreira was expected to take place on August 27, 2011 at UFC 134. However, Ferreira was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Dan Miller. Palhares would defeat Miller by unanimous decision, although there was some controversy when Palhares dropped Miller in the first round and after a few follow up punches, incorrectly thought the fight was over.
Palhares then faced Alan Belcher on May 5, 2012 at UFC on Fox 3. After getting the fight to the ground, Palhares was almost caught on a twister attempt by Belcher. Palhares was able to escape and proceeded to attempt various types of leglocks, which were all defended by Belcher. After some action, Palhares ended on his back, eventually succumbing to Belcher's ground and pound at 4:18 of the first round.
Palhares faced Hector Lombard on December 15, 2012 at UFC on FX 6 where he lost via KO at 3:38 of Round 1. Following his loss to Lombard, the UFC announced that Palhares tested positive for elevated testosterone levels in his post-fight drug test and, subsequently, has been suspended for nine-months retroactive to December 14.
Drop to Welterweight and release from the UFC
Following his loss to Lombard, Palhares stated that he would be moving down one weight class to the welterweight division. He made his debut in the new division against Mike Pierce on October 9, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 29. He won the fight via heel hook submission just 31 seconds into the first round. This was the only successful submission throughout the event. However, Palhares was denied a Submission of the Night bonus because he continued cranking the heel hook after the referee stepped in, an act UFC deemed "unsportsmanlike conduct." It was also noted that Pierce tapped a total of eight times to no response from Palhares. The next day, while conducting an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC was releasing Palhares effective immediately due to not letting go of the submission. Hours later, UFC and Zuffa released a statement saying that Palhares was already in trouble for his failure to release his heel hook on Drwal in 2010 and his drug suspension in 2012, and his actions the night before were the last straw.
World Series of Fighting
Palhares made his WSOF debut at WSOF 9 against the reigning Welterweight Champion Steve Carl. He won via inverted heel hook submission in the first round to win the WSOF Welterweight Championship.
In July, he was scheduled to fight Jon Fitch at WSOF 11. However, on April 30, 2014, the match was canceled. The fight with Jon Fitch was rescheduled for WSOF 16 on December 13, 2014. Palhares successfully defended his title, winning by kneebar only 90 seconds into first round. Again the length of the submission hold came into question.
Palhares faced Jake Shields on August 1, 2015 at WSOF 22. Shields did well against Palhares for the majority of the fight, but the tables began to turn in the 2nd round with a takedown by Palhares and the subsequent damage Palhares did on the ground. In the 3rd round, Palhares submitted Shields, but faced penalty from the NSAC soon after for once again holding on to a submission after being prompted to let it go by the referee. Palhares came to the press one day after the incident and claimed innocence.
Following the incident, Palhares was stripped of his welterweight title and suspended indefinitely, with WSOF vice-president Ali Abdel-Aziz saying that Palhares "has mental problems and shouldn’t be allowed to fight until he fixes them." 
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Submission of the Night (Two times)
- World Series of Fighting
- WSOF Welterweight Championship (One time)
- Two successful title defense
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|29 matches||19 wins||9 losses|
|Loss||19–9–1||Aliaskhab Khizriev||KO (punches)||Fight Nights Global 85: Alikhanov vs. Kopylov||March 30, 2018||1||0:58||Moscow, Russia||For the Interim FNG Welterweight Championship; Palhares missed weight by 3 lbs and was not eligible to win the title|
|Draw||19–8–1||Shamil Amirov||Draw (overturned)||Fight Nights Global 73: Aliev vs. Brandão||September 5, 2017||3||5:00||Kaspiysk, Russia||Originally a split decision win for Amirov; overturned to draw by Russian MMA Union.|
|Win||19–8||Aleksei Ivanov||Submission (heel hook)||Fight Nights Global 70: Palhares vs. Ivanov||July 7, 2017||1||0:37||Ulan-Ude, Russia|
|Loss||18–8||Michał Materla||KO (punches)||KSW 36: Materla vs. Palhares||October 1, 2016||2||1:27||Zielona Góra, Poland|
|Loss||18–7||Emil Weber Meek||KO (punches and elbows)||Venator FC 3||May 21, 2016||1||0:45||Milan, Italy||For the Venator Welterweight Championship.|
|Win||18–6||Jake Shields||Submission (kimura)||WSOF 22||August 1, 2015||3||2:02||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the WSOF Welterweight Championship. Later stripped of the title for not letting go of the submission after initial stoppage.|
|Win||17–6||Jon Fitch||Submission (kneebar)||WSOF 16||December 13, 2014||1||1:30||Sacramento, California, United States||Defended the WSOF Welterweight Championship.|
|Win||16–6||Steve Carl||Submission (inverted heel hook)||WSOF 9||March 29, 2014||1||1:09||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won the WSOF Welterweight Championship.|
|Win||15–6||Mike Pierce||Submission (heel hook)||UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields||October 9, 2013||1||0:31||Barueri, Brazil||Welterweight debut. Later released from the UFC for not letting go of the submission after initial stoppage.|
|Loss||14–6||Hector Lombard||KO (punches)||UFC on FX: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson||December 15, 2012||1||3:38||Gold Coast, Australia||Suspended for 9 months due to elevated testosterone levels.|
|Loss||14–5||Alan Belcher||TKO (punches and elbows)||UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller||May 5, 2012||1||4:18||East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||14–4||Mike Massenzio||Submission (heel hook)||UFC 142||January 14, 2012||1||1:03||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||13–4||Dan Miller||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 134||August 27, 2011||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||12–4||David Branch||Submission (kneebar)||UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann||March 3, 2011||2||1:44||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Loss||11–4||Nate Marquardt||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares||September 15, 2010||1||3:28||Austin, Texas, United States|
|Win||11–3||Tomasz Drwal||Submission (heel hook)||UFC 111||March 27, 2010||1||0:45||Newark, New Jersey, United States||Suspended for 90 days for not letting go of the submission after initial stoppage.|
|Win||10–3||Lucio Linhares||Submission (heel hook)||UFC 107||December 12, 2009||2||3:21||Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||9–3||Jeremy Horn||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 93||January 17, 2009||3||5:00||Dublin, Ireland|
|Loss||8–3||Dan Henderson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 88||September 6, 2008||3||5:00||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||8–2||Ivan Salaverry||Submission (armbar)||UFC 84||May 24, 2008||1||2:36||Paradise, Nevada, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||7–2||Daniel Acacio||Submission (heel hook)||Fury FC 5: Final Conflict||December 6, 2007||1||1:22||São Paulo, Brazil||Won Fury FC Middleweight Grand Prix.|
|Win||6–2||Fabio Nascimento||Submission (heel hook)||Fury FC 5: Final Conflict||December 6, 2007||1||2:45||São Paulo, Brazil||Fury FC Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinal.|
|Win||5–2||Flavio Luiz Moura||Submission (inverted heel hook)||Fury FC 4: High Voltage||August 4, 2007||1||1:21||Teresopolis, Brazil|
|Win||4–2||Helio Dipp||Submission (rear naked choke)||Floripa Fight 3||March 10, 2007||1||1:40||Florianópolis, Brazil|
|Win||3–2||Claudio Mattos||Submission (heel hook)||Storm Samurai 12||November 25, 2006||1||4:58||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Loss||2–2||Arthur Cesar Jacintho||Decision (majority)||Rio MMA Challenger 2||June 21, 2006||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||2–1||Renan Moraes||Submission (armbar)||Gold Fighters Championship 1||May 20, 2006||1||N/A||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||1–1||Bruno Bastos||Decision (split)||Floripa Fight 2||April 29, 2006||3||5:00||Florianópolis, Brazil|
|Loss||0–1||Leandro Silva||Decision (unanimous)||Banni Fight Combat 2||May 10, 2004||3||5:00||Brasilia, Brazil|
- List of current mixed martial arts champions
- List of male mixed martial artists
- List of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners
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- on YouTube
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