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Rousimar Palhares 'perplexed' by release from UFC, according to manager

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When Rousimar Palhares' manager Alex Davis told the Brazilian welterweight that he had been cut less than 24 hours after his controversial win over Mike Pierce, Palhares was "very sad." However, Davis said he was also a bit confused.

"He's perplexed," Davis told "He doesn't really grasp it. He doesn't really understand that he's doing something overly wrong. He doesn't get it."

Palhares submitted Pierce in just 31 seconds Wednesday night in Brazil at UFC Fight Night 29. The problem was he held on to the submission long after Pierce tapped multiple times. As a result, the UFC decided against giving him the $50,000 Submission of the Night award, and then UFC president Dana White cut "Toquinho" on Thursday.

"It's very sad for me," Davis said. "I understand the UFC's perspective. They have to do what's in their best interest. I get Dana White's perspective. I think it was a bit radical, but [Palhares] has done this before."

Indeed he has. Palhares, who wasn't available for comment, 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 also held on to a submission too long twice in 2007, prior to his UFC career. And he pulled the same stunt in jiu-jitsu competitions and in training, too.

Davis said Palhares is "in his own world, his own place" when he fights. He often doesn't listen to his corner between rounds. Palhares told Davis after the fight that he honestly never felt Pierce tapping, that's how focused he was.

Davis, who said he will continue managing Palhares' MMA career, wants the 33-year-old to start working with a famous sports psychologist in Rio de Janeiro to figure out why he turns into a different person when he competes.

"First of all, we're going to figure out what the problem is. This kid is not a mean kid. Everyone who is with him loves him to pieces.

"We're going to try to figure out why this happens. Why does this kid do this [expletive]? Why doesn't he just stop?"