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Manager: Palhares 'did not mean to injure Pierce,' doesn't feel additional punishment is warranted

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rousimar Palhares has come under fire for his unsportsmanlike conduct at UFC Fight Night 29.

However, Palhares' manager Alex Davis says the Brazilian welterweight wasn't fighting dirty when he held on to his heel-hook submission against Mike Pierce long after Pierce tapped multiple times.

"He says he let go when the ref intervened," Davis said via e-mail, "but that he did not mean to injure Pierce, or anyone else for that matter.

"He does not feel he should suffer anymore punishment, but he will abide by what ever the CABMMA [the Brazilian athletic commission] says."

The UFC decided against giving Palhares the $50,000 Submission of the Night award due to his actions, and UFC president Dana White told MMAFighting.com that the Brazilian will receive an additional punishment.

Palhares submitted Pierce via his patented heel hook in just 31 seconds, but the impressive win was marred by the fact that he didn't release the submission after Pierce tapped multiple times. Palhares was suspended 90 days by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board for doing the same thing against Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 in 2010. He was also accused of holding on to a submission too long twice in 2007, prior to his UFC career.

"It's really unconscious," Davis added. "He can't explain it. He accepts any punishment, but at the same time, he says he doesn't mean to hurt anyone or anything. [He's] just trying to end the fight."

MMAFighting.com has unsuccessfully tried to contact Pierce to find out if he suffered a serious leg injury as a result of Palhares' actions.

UPDATE: UFC president Dana White announced on Thursday that he has released Palhares from the UFC.