While the UFC thought the Rousimar Palhares’ heel hook from hell was so nice they showed it twice, it seems like New Jersey’s athletic commission had a different opinion on it:
Middleweight Rousimar Palhares, who defeated Tomasz Drwal via heel-hook, was suspended 90 days for failing to release the hold. The dangerous lock, which can quickly cause serious damage to the knee of a competitor, is often banned in lower-level competitions. Palhares latched on to Drwal and cranked hard even as the Polish slugger tapped repeatedly. Palhares had to be pried off of his foe by referee Kevin Mulhall before finally releasing the hold.
Now before we all get our panties in a wad it’s worth noting that a 90 day suspension in the UFC has no teeth since it’s pretty rare for a guy to ever get back in the octagon that fast. So this is nothing more than a whack with a newspaper and a “We’re watching” message from the commission.
As for whether Palhares deserved even the implication that he did something wrong, that’s a question all on it’s own. He did keep torquing a heel hook after his opponent was clearly tapping when heel hooks are infamous for being the kind of thing that fucks a dude’s leg up forever. On the other hand, Palhares claimed he was just holding the submission until the ref peeled him off. This wouldn’t have been as big of a problem if ref Kevin Mulhall had been on top of things but he was on the other side of the cage at the time. As for how quickly Palhares released the hold then, I agree it doesn’t look instant but we’re dealing in fractions of a second now, which gets kinda silly.
One of the bigger bits of unconfirmed evidence floating around right now is that Palhares has done this kind of thing in the past, so I suppose we’ll see what comes out of that.