Palhares is a Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist, but his striking looked better than ever against Miller. In fact, in the first round he twice knocked Miller down with head kicks, and the second time, after he rained some punches down on a badly hurt Miller, he thought he had won the fight and got up and started celebrating before referee Herb Dean grabbed Palhares and told him the fight wasn't over.
That moment (which was reminiscent of an EliteXC fight between Cris Cyborg and Shayna Baszler) is what this fight will be most remembered for: Palhares celebrating and thinking the fight was over as Miller got some time to recover and Dean tried to restore order. It's not clear whether Palhares stopped because he thought Dean had told him to, whether he thought he had knocked Miller out, or whether he thought Miller had tapped out. But Palhares may have become overly cautious about stopping in such situations because he was once suspended by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission for not letting go of a submission quickly enough.
The truly amazing thing is that after Dean got the fight started again, Miller landed a big punch and almost knocked Palhares out. If he had, that would have been the craziest comeback in UFC history.
Instead, Palhares recovered and controlled the rest of the fight, winning by the unusual set of scores of 30-25, 30-27 and 29-27. The judges might not agree on the scores, but everyone would have to agree that Palhares dominated, and looked great doing it.
Rousimar Palhares fights off his back against Dan Miller at UFC 134 on Aug. 27, 2011 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Esther Lin, MMA Fighting" data-gallery-title="UFC 134 Photos" data-gallery-id="2911693" >