Rousimar Palhares

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Rousimar Palhares
Rousimar Toquinho.jpg
Born (1980-02-20) February 20, 1980 (age 39)
Dores do Indaiá, Brazil
Other namesToquinho
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight173.9 lb (78.9 kg; 12.42 st)
DivisionWelterweight (2013–present)
Middleweight (2007–2012)
Light Heavyweight (2006–2007)
Reach71 in (180 cm)
Fighting out ofRio de Janeiro, Brazil
TeamTeam Nogueira[1]
Brazilian Top Team
Rank1st degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Murilo Bustamante[2]
1st degree black belt in Luta Livre[3]
Years active2006–present
Mixed martial arts record
By submission16
By decision3
By knockout7
By decision3
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Rousimar Palhares
Medal record
Representing  Brazil
Men's Grappling
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Silver medal – second place 2011 Nottingham -88kg

Rousimar Christian Palhares[4] (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.[citation needed] 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[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7] 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[edit]


Palhares fought against former PRIDE Middleweight & Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson at UFC 88. Henderson defeated Palhares by unanimous decision handing Palhares his first loss in the UFC.

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.[8]

At UFC 111, Palhares defeated Tomasz Drwal by heel hook 45 seconds into the first round,[9] 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.[10]

Palhares was expected to face Nate Marquardt on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118,[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

Palhares was expected to face Alexandre Ferreira on March 3, 2011 at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann.[14] 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."[15] David Branch replaced Ferriera.[16] Palhares defeated Branch via second round submission (kneebar).[17][18]

Palhares/Ferreira was expected to take place on August 27, 2011 at UFC 134.[19] However, Ferreira was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Dan Miller.[20] 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 next faced Mike Massenzio on January 14, 2012 at UFC 142[21] He defeated Massenzio by heel hook in the first round, earning him his second Submission of the Night bonus.

Palhares then faced Alan Belcher on May 5, 2012 at UFC on Fox 3.[22] 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 was expected to replace an injured Luiz Cane against Yushin Okami on August 11, 2012 at UFC 150;[23] however Palhares himself was injured and forced out of the bout.[24]

Palhares faced Hector Lombard on December 15, 2012 at UFC on FX 6 where he lost via KO at 3:38 of Round 1.[25] 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.[26]

Drop to Welterweight and release from the UFC[edit]

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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

World Series of Fighting[edit]

In November 2013, Palhares signed a contract with World Series of Fighting, but was already on thin ice as WSOF president Ray Sefo had given Palhares a very stern warning about in-cage conduct.[31]

Palhares made his WSOF debut at WSOF 9 against the reigning Welterweight Champion Steve Carl,[32] he won via inverted heel hook submission in the first round to win the WSOF Welterweight Championship.[33]

In July, he was scheduled to fight Jon Fitch at WSOF 11. However, on April 30, 2014, the match was canceled;[34] the fight with Jon Fitch was rescheduled for WSOF 16 on December 13, 2014.[35] 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.[36][36] 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.[37]

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." [38]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 19–10–1 Georgy Kichigin KO (punches) RCC 5: Russian Cagefighting Championship 5 December 15, 2018 1 3:53 Ekaterinburg, Russia
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 when the referee stopped the fight.
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. Subsequently released from the UFC for not releasing the submission when the referee stopped the fight.
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

Grappling record[edit]

7 Matches, 4 Wins (4 Submissions), 3 Losses, 1 Draw
Result Rec. Opponent Method Event Division Date Location
Loss 4-3-1 Australia Craig Jones Referee Decision Kasai Pro 3 Superfight August 18, 2018 United States New York City, NY
Draw 4-2-1 United States Garry Tonon Draw Polaris 6 Superfight April 2, 2016 United Kingdom Poole
Loss 4-2 Brazil André Galvão Points (4-9) ADCC World championship -88kg September 25, 2011 United Kingdom Nottingham
Win 4-1 United States Rafael Lovato Jr. Submission (heel hook)
Win 3-1 United States David Avellan Submission (heel hook) September 24, 2011
Win 2-1 Mexico Dan Schon Submission (heel hook)
Loss 1-1 Brazil Tarsis Humphreys Points (4-9) ADCC World championship -88kg February 3, 2007 Brazil Rio de Janeiro

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Palhares joins Team Nogueira". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  2. ^ BJJ Heroes. "Rousimar Palhares". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. ^ "LUTA LIVRE Submission".
  4. ^ "MIXED MARTIAL ARTS SHOW RESULTS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 6, 2009.
  5. ^ "Toquinho promete partir para cima de americano no UFC Rio". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  6. ^ "Toquinho Excited About Debut At UFC 84". 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  7. ^ "Is Rousimar Palhares the Man to Beat Anderson Silva ? by Jad Semaan". bleacherreport. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  8. ^ "PALHARES VS. LINHARES AT UFC 107". 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  9. ^ Deibert, Dave "UFC 111: Georges St-Pierre steamrolls Dan Hardy, Shane Carwin destroys Frank Mir", The Vancouver Sun (March 29, 2010)
  10. ^ "UFC 111 suspensions: Palhares receives disciplinary action, Riddle out indefinitely". 2010-03-28. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  11. ^ "Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares Possible for UFC 118 on August 28 in Boston". 2010-05-05.
  12. ^ "Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares moved to UFC Fight Night 22 main-event slot". 2010-08-03.
  13. ^ John Morgan. "Palhares apologizes for false accusations; team congratulates Marquardt on win". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2010-09-18.
  14. ^ "Rousimar Palhares vs. Alexandre Ferreira targeted for UFC on Versus 3". 2010-12-19. Archived from the original on 2010-12-25.
  15. ^ "Exclusive: Palhares vs. Cacareco cancelled; Brazilian floods cited". Fighters Only. January 18, 2011. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "David Branch Replaces Ferreira, Faces Palhares At UFC on Versus 3". January 19, 2011.
  17. ^ "Rousimar Palhares Kneebars Dave Branch". March 4, 2011.
  18. ^ Luke Thomas. "UFC On Versus 3 Results: Rousimar Palhares Kneebars Dave Branch". Vox Media. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  19. ^ "Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira vs. Rousimar Palhares in the works for UFC 134". May 5, 2011. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012.
  20. ^ "Dan Miller replaces injured "Cacareco," meets Rousimar Palhares at UFC 134". July 6, 2011. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "Palhares-Massenzio Matchup Added to Growing UFC 142 Card". November 15, 2011.
  22. ^ "Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares added to UFC on FOX 3". February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012.
  23. ^ "Rousimar Palhares replaces Luiz Cane against Yushin Okami at UFC 150". June 18, 2012.
  24. ^ Martin, Damon (July 25, 2012). "Rousimar Palhares Out; Buddy Roberts In Against Yushin Okami at UFC 150". Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  25. ^ "UFC on FX 6 set for Australia, gets Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares headliner". September 7, 2012. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013.
  26. ^ "Rousimar Palhares and Joey Beltran suspended following positive drug test at UFC on FX 6". January 10, 2013.
  27. ^ Luis Fernando Coutinho (2013-08-20). "Rousimar Toquinho encara Mike Pierce no UFC de 9 outubro (Brazilian Portuguese)". Archived from the original on 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  28. ^ "UFC Fight Night 29 Bonuses". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  29. ^ Dana White Cuts Rousimar Palhares From UFC on YouTube
  30. ^ "Zuffa Statement on Rousimar Palhares". UFC. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  31. ^ "WSOF President Ray Sefo Gives Rousimar Palhares Stern Warning About In-Cage Conduct". Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  32. ^ "Steve Carl to defend Welterweight Strap against Rousimar Palhares at WSOF 9". Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  33. ^ "WSOF 9 results: Rousimar Palhares defeats Steve Carl with quick heel hook". Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  34. ^ Henderson, Jason (30 April 2014). "Rousimar Palhares Vs Jon Fitch Title Fight Scratched From WSOF 11". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  35. ^ "Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch set for WSOF 16". MMA News Now. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  36. ^ a b John Morgan (2015-04-20). "'WSOF 22: Palhares vs. Shields' set for Aug. 1 in Las Vegas". Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  37. ^ Jeremy Botter (2015-08-02). "WSOF 22: The Trouble with Rousimar Palhares". Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  38. ^ Andreas Hale (2015-08-03). "WSOF suspends Rousimar Palhares, strips him of title after wild event". Retrieved 2015-08-03.

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