Rousimar Palhares is currently unemployed. He was recently cut from the Ultimate Fighting Championship after submitting Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil with an ankle lock. It was not the first time Palhares held onto a hazardous leg/ankle lock submission too long. These types of submissions come on very quickly and can potentially put an opposing fighter’s career on hold for a lengthy period of time. But it seems he may have inadvertently sidelined his own. Even after releasing a YouTube video talking about the fight ending submission and apologizing, it seems unlikely that Dana White and the UFC will be welcoming him back anytime soon.So where is a recently cut UFC fighter supposed to turn? Instantly one thinks of Bellator MMA. Sorry! Bjorn Rebney has already made it clear that’s not going to happen, telling TMZ his promotion will not sign Palhares. Maybe he could follow his fellow former UFC colleague Yushin Okami and sign with World Series of Fighting. But we have already heard from one of WSOF’s top welterweights in Jon Fitch that he would turn down the fight. Now that doesn’t rule out WSOF, but it’s a telling sign that he has lost respect from some of his fellow MMA comrades. It does WSOF or any promotion at that no good to sign Palhares if their fighters are not willing to face him.Alas, I have the answer. Instead of trying to earn his way back to the top of the MMA business, go the route of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Tito Ortiz, and Muhammed Lawal and join professional wrestling. Palhares needs to stop apologizing and just turn “heel”. Pun intended. He should claim that he does it on purpose and if people don’t want it to happen to them they should stop it. When one first looks at Palhares, they notice his short stature and massive build. Oil him up, put him in a ring, and he already looks like a World Wresting Entertainment wrestler. Plus he seems to have no problem using steroids if he wanted to upgrade from huge to humongous.
Palhares would have the option of going by his original nickname in “Toquinho” or take the fan made and Americanized nickname “Paul Harris”, playing off of his last name. The WWE already has CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio using modified Brazilian Jiu Jitsu moves in the ring, so Palhares using leg locks in the ring wouldn’t look out of place. Maybe he even picks up a nice figure four leg lock to go along with his heel hooks and ankle locks.
Speaking of ankle locks, remember Ken Shamrock in the WWE? BECAUSE I DO!!! His crossover from the UFC was the reason I discovered mixed martial arts. Little 12 year old me thought he really was the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” and was shocked to find out he actually competed in real cage fights. He quickly became my favorite fighter and led me to become the MMA fan I am today.
Maybe Bellator’s Viacom brethren, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, could add Palhares to their roster and promote him like WWE did Shamrock. I am mostly joking about him joining the professional wrestling ranks. But maybe there is a new 12 year old wrestling fan who, like young me, would be intrigued by someone who was deemed too dangerous to fight in the UFC cage. TNA can promote the fact that he waskicked out of Brazilian Top Team, has actually injured several fighter’s knees with his leg locks, and isn’t afraid to put people to sleep. They could have Palhares walk out in a BJJ gi and black belt. And since he already looks extremely intimidating and doesn’t speak great English, they could attach an over-the-top manager to cut his promos and cheat for him ringside.
I know this won’t happen, but its fun to think about the possibility and we have seen it before. Plus maybe Palhares really is hurting people “subconsciously” as his manager, Alex Davis, wrote. In that case, no professional wrestler would want get in the ring with him anyways. Personally, I love to watch Rousimar Palhares fight, and hope a promotion picks him up soon. He brings a great intensity to the cage and his fights always entertain.