UFC middleweight submission specialist Rousimar Palhares will look to earn his third straight UFC victory this Wednesday night when he takes on top 185lb fighter Nate “The Great” Marquardt in the main event of UFC Fight Night 22. Palhares recently spoke with MMAWeekly.com and revealed his excitement for the bout based on the fact that Marquardt, an accomplished grappler, may be willing to engage in a bit of a grappling match with the dangerous Brazilian limb snatcher.
“To me, the fact that he does have a black belt in jiu-jitsu means that he will accept to play that game with me, and I find it easier for myself when I fight people with that kind of a background, where they actually engage in jiu-jitsu with me,” Palhares said.
Normally those that do engage “Toquinho” in a grappling match end up on the wrong end of a submission; submissions that Palhares’ critics believe the Brazilian holds onto for too long. Palhares’ reputation for cranking away on submissions despite an opponent’s tapping recently earned him a 90-day suspension from the New Jersey State Athletic Commission for what they felt was an overdue release of one of his patented heel hooks, which he locked up on Tomasz Drwal. Palhares did not agree with the suspension and told MMAWeekly that he believes it to be the referee’s job to protect the fighters and the fighter’s job to ensure a victory.
“I think it was unfair,” Palhares said. “I didn’t have any intention to hurt my opponent. In my opinion unfortunately the referee was too far from us, and took too long to interrupt the fight. If he was faster nothing (like that) would happen.”
A protege to renowned grappler Murilo Bustamante, Palhares said that all he did was stick to his training and do things the way he has been instructed to do.
“I hold until the referee stop the fight,” Palhares said. “That’s what Murilo always tell me to do it, because he had bad experience before on this subject.”
Palhares will take on Marquardt this Wednesday evening at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas; the bout will be shown live via Spike TV and will serve as the lead-in to the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter.