Making his welterweight debut at UFC Fight Night 29, Palhares submitted Pierce via his trademark heel hook early in the first round. However Palhares refused to relinquish the submission for several seconds following the tap, despite Pierce's cries of pain and the insistence of referee Keith Peterson.
Palhares' finish wound up as the only submission on the card, yet he failed to receive a 'Submission of the Night' bonus due to what UFC officials perceived to be "unsportsmanlike conduct." White subsequently promised further consequences would be coming.
Palhares received a 90-day suspension for a similar incident in 2010 when he refused to relinquish a heel hook well after his opponent, Tomasz Drwal, submitted. Palhares has displayed similar tendencies at grappling tournaments in the past, and in addition, tested positive for elevated testosterone following a late-2012 loss to Hector Lombard.
"This is the second incident we've had with Palhares where he had the lock and he didn't let it go. Finally he let it go, but I'm going to cut him," White said. "He's done."
Palhares exits the UFC with an 8-4 record. Five of those victories came via leglock.
UPDATE: Shaap's initial report stated that Palhares had been "banned" from the UFC. Promotion officials have subsequently confirmed to MMAFighting.com that Palhares is "released."