‘Minotauro’ on Palhares: ‘He has never thought of doing anything evil to any opponent’

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Rousimar Palhares is finally receiving some support during the worst week of his career.

Released from the UFC after a controversial submission win over Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29, "Toquinho" heard several promotions deny the possibility of hiring him even before he tries to make contact, and the leaders of his team decided to defend him.

"I can say that in our gym, ‘Toquinho’ has never hurt anyone," Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira, the leader of Team Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro, stated in a release sent to MMAFighting.com. "He is a good person, excellent company and a man with a great character. I believe that he has never thought of doing anything evil to any opponent because this isn’t his conduct.

"I don’t question UFC’s decision because the people who are in control have a global view of the business and they understand it better than anyone in the whole business that involves our sport."

UFC president Dana White said that what Palhares’ did "was wrong and really despicable", and that’s why he decided to release him. The Brazilian, who was already suspended in the past for holding a submission too long, was suspended for 120 days by the Brazilian Athletic Comission (CABMMA) following his 31-second win at UFN 29.

"Minotauro", a jiu-jitsu expect with 21 submission victories, has never finished a fight with ankle locks or heel hooks, but he says the fighter needs to be "explosive" to get the win with attacks like these.

"It’s a dangerous position and the guy who applies it has to be explosive," he said. "At the time, you don’t look at the opponent. ‘Toquinho’ lost the position several times because he released the grip a little. It’s a position that you go with everything or you lose it. It’s a complicated situation. The referee needs to be aware and has to intervene in an energetic way."

Rogerio "Minotouro" Nogueira, "Minotauro’s" twin brother, defended his teammate as well.

"I've known Rousimar for years," "Minotouro" said. "As an athlete he’s a phenom, and as a person he’s loved by everyone, especially for his simplicity. Anyone who knows the history of his life will be enchanted with his modesty and dedication to the sport. ‘Toquinho’ was always the first to arrive and the last to leave the gym, always a great help to our athletes, and we’re sure he will continue to do so because Team Nogueira will always be by his side."

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