Rousimar Palhares

Rousimar Palhares is the current WSOF welterweight champion.

He most recently faced Nate Marquardt, losing via slightly controversial first round TKO. Afterwards, Palhares signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC and expressed a strong desire for a rematch with Marquardt. Instead, Palhares was next set to face Alexandre Ferreira. Ferreira pulled out about two months before the fight, citing the fact that he lost family and friends in the Brazilian floods and mudslides and that he was in 'no condition to train or fight'.

Ferreira was replaced by accomplished wrestler Dave Branch. Palhares defeated Branch via second-round heelhook submission. Palhares was then set to face Ferreira once more. Ferreira was injured yet again and this time he was replaced by courageous veteran Dan Miller. Palhares defeated Miller via dominant unanimous decision after a very entertaining bout.

Palhares next faced gritty wrestler Mike Massenzio, forcing Massenzio to tap out to a brutal heelhook submission in the fight's first minute. Palhares broke Massenzio's knee with the win but at the same time arrived as a true middleweight contender.

He next faced Alan Belcher, engaging in a leglock war with Belcher that Belcher surprisingly survived before defeating Palhares via technical knockout near the end of the first round.

Palhares next fought former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard in December 2012. Lombard knocked Palhares out in the first round. Afterwards -- in January 2013 -- Palhares tested positive for steroids and was suspended for nine months.

After coming off the suspension, Palhares dropped to the welterweight division to make his debut there against smothering but powerful wrestler Mike Pierce. Palhares defeated Pierce quickly via a first round heelhook submission but he again held the submission after the tapout as he had against Mike Massenzio and Tomasz Drwal just in the UFC. Amidst an outcry from MMA fans and analysts alike, the UFC cut Palhares and banned him for life from competing inside the organization.

Bellator, the World Series of Fighting and KSW all stated that they had no interest in signing Palhares. Palhares ended up signing with the WSOF in late November 2013 irregardless.

Palhares signed in January 2014 to make his WSOF debut fighting brand-new WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl for the championship. Palhares defeated Carl via heelhook submission in just over a minute to become the champion.

He was next set to defend his title against fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch but he was forced to pull out of the fight due to family issues.

Palhares soon enough signed again for his first defense against Fitch.


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