Rousimar Palhares added another quick submission to his record, but the fight once again ended with controversy.
The World Series of Fighting welterweight champion, who needed 90 seconds to tap Jon Fitch in the main event of WSOF 16 in Sacramento Calif., on Dec. 13, might have injured Fitch with his nasty submission, but feels he did everything by the book.
"I still have to deal with those critics, but I don’t understand why people try to humiliate me like that," Palhares told MMAFighting.com of the claims that he held the submission too long. "I just go inside the cage to try to be the best I can be. I don’t hold submissions."
"You can see fighters punching opponents two or three times after they are already knocked out," he continued. "For an example, see for how long Ronda Rousey holds her armbars. I don’t think she’s wrong. In this sport, you won’t survive if you don’t lock the position really tight. I believe I did what I should have done to win. I didn’t do anything wrong. They are just trying to humiliate me because I submit people, or for other reasons I don’t know."
Palhares (17-6), currently riding a three-fight winning streak with a trio of quick submissions, feels that fans and media hope he loses his fights.
"I feel they wait for me to do something and then they go after me, but in reality nobody wants me to win," he said. "They prefer to criticize me instead of applaud me because they feel better this way. They are nothing. They live by other’s images, and they try to put me at their levels with that. I can’t stand it."
Controversy aside, "Toquinho" gave Fitch one of his quickest losses, and he did in impressive fashion.
"I might be at the best moment of my career," Palhares said, "but time will tell."
"I wasn’t expecting to defeat an athlete of Fitch’s level that fast, but I was well prepared to win and thanks God everything went right," Palhares said. "He trained some heel hook defense, but I train everything in the gym. I put myself in tough situations so I can evolve and get better every time, so (the transition to the kneebar) was natural."
Right after the bout, "Toquinho" revealed he had suffered injuries in his training camp for WSOF 16, and he told MMAFighting.com he will have to undergo at least one surgery before his next title defense.
"I had some injuries. In fact, I will undergo a left knee surgery, and I might need a shoulder surgery as well," he said. "Those are complicated surgeries, but I will time to recover and come back stronger."