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Rousimar Palhares won't be punished by CSAC for holding onto submission after tap

The California State Athletic Commission will not be punishing Rousimar Palhares, even though he held onto his winning kneebar submission against Jon Fitch a shade too long.

Andy Foster, the CSAC executive director, told MMA Fighting that he was angry Saturday night at World Series of Fighting 16 in Sacramento after the incident in the main event. But after consulting with referee Ed Collantes and watching video of the finish over and over again Monday, Foster determined he would not take any action against the Brazilian fighter.

"As soon as [the tap] touches you, he should have let it go," Foster said. "He chose to keep it going another few seconds. You can say it's the heat of the moment -- I've heard that too many times from him. I don't think it's enough to punish him or anything. It's real borderline. I'm pretty mad."

Palhares, the WSOF welterweight champion, has become known for this behavior. In October 2013, he held onto a heel hook too long against Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields. Pierce was injured and Palhares was subsequently released from the UFC.

In 2010, Palhares was suspended 90 days by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board after holding onto a heel hook too long against Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111. He also has had questionable sportsmanship in submission wins over Ivan Salaverry, Lucio Linhares, David Branch and Mike Massenzio in the UFC and Steve Carl to win the WSOF welterweight title in March.

Foster said he spoke with WSOF president Ray Sefo after the main event Saturday night. Sefo reportedly said Sunday that he believed Palhares' submission was "perfectly clean."

"In this sport, you won't survive if you don't lock the position really tight," Palhares told MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz. "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."

Foster disagrees.

"Was it long? Yeah, it was long," he said. "I think if they argued that it wasn't a bit long, then they're kidding themselves or are they not being truthful. Was it beyond reason for anyone else in the world? No. If anyone else in the world did that, we wouldn't be having this conversation. He has a freaking history of this."

Foster said Collantes was fine with it and chose not to assess a foul. However, Foster also said he would send Palhares a letter and take different measures if WSOF schedules him again in California. Foster said he would speak personally with Palhares, his management and the promotion about the issue. And though he didn't have a problem with how Collantes handled it, Foster said he would get John McCarthy or Herb Dean, two of the most experienced referees in the business, to work the bout.

"If the guy taps, he's gotta let him go," Foster said. "That's the game."

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