On a night that could've been a celebration for a successful debut in a new weight class, Rousimar Palhares was instead denied the Submission of the Night award and $50,000 despite defeating Mike Pierce via heel hook at UFC Fight Night 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
UFC announced the winners via Twitter following the Wednesday night event and wrote the Submission of the Night award was denied "due to unsportsmanlike conduct."
Palhares, 33, managed to put away Pierce in just 31 seconds into the very first round by staying one step ahead of the American in leg lock scrambles. But as Pierce tapped, Palhares hung on to the dangerous and potentially destructive submission several seconds beyond. Referee Keith Peterson and Pierce had to give several further indications the fight was over before Palhares released the hold.
The Braziian was suspended 90 days in 2010 by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board for a similar offense in a UFC bout with Tomasz Drwal. It's not clear if the submission ace will face additional penalty from the UFC or the acting athletic commission in Brazil. His record moves to 15-5 in professional MMA.
Taking home the $50,000 each for the Fight of the Night were main card openers Raphael Assuncao, 31, and T.J. Dillashaw, 27. The Brazilian was able to edge Dillashaw via split decision, the but highly competitive bout saw both fighters constantly on offense and attempting to take the match from the other. Assuncao ultimately edged Dillashaw via split decision Assuncao moves to 22-4 in professional MMA while Dillashaw slides to 8-2.
The easy winner of the evening's Knockout of the Night was welterweight Dong Hyun Kim, 31. In a tough bout that saw the South Korean trying to work his top control game on Erick Silva, 29, the bout's ending shocked virtually all observers as a blistering left hook landed flush on Silva's unblocked face, which sent the rising prospect crashing to the mat. The bout was officially halted at 3:01 in the second round. Kim moves to 18-2-1 with 1 no-contest while Silva drops to 15-4 with 1 no-contest.
UFC Fight Night 29 was held at Ginasio Jose Correa in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The bouts aired on FOX Sports 1.