World Series of Fighting is throwing the book at Rousimar Palhares.
WSOF president Ray Sefo announced Monday on The MMA Hour that Palhares will be stripped of his welterweight title and suspended indefinitely after gouging Jake Shields' eyes and holding onto a submission too long Saturday night at WSOF 22 in Las Vegas.
"Not only did he did it once or twice," Sefo said of the Palhares eye gouges. "He did it numerous times. And he was warned by the referee on four different occasions."
The Nevada Athletic Commission is also reviewing the fight and could punish Palhares and Shields, who hit Palhares after the bell in retaliation. The NAC has withheld Palhares' win bonus and it's possible Palhares and Shields will have disciplinary hearings at the next NAC meeting, which is set for Aug. 13.
Sefo said WSOF will wait on the NAC's potential suspension for Palhares to decide how long he'll be kept out. Palhares' third-round submission win also could be made a no contest. Part of the blame for the eye gouges have to go to referee Steve Mazzagatti, Sefo said.
"He should have taken a point or maybe even disqualified him after he did it four times," Sefo said.
Palhares was cut by the UFC in 2013 for holding onto a leglock submission too long against Mike Pierce and it has been a pattern of behavior for the Brazilian.
"I think he needs to speak to somebody and they'll be able to tell us exactly what the issue is," Sefo said. "When you talk to the guy outside of the [cage], he seems like a very polite, very nice guy. When he's in there, something triggers and I don't know what that is."
Palhares (18-6) is arguably WSOF's best fighter. The 35-year-old has won four straight after falling to Hector Lombard by first-round knockout in 2012. All three of his WSOF wins have come via submission. Palhares defeated Jon Fitch last December and also seemed to hold onto a leglock a shade too long.
"I think the sad part of this is the guy is a great fighter," Sefo said. "When Jake Shields is tapping nine times and the referee is tapping you six, seven times and literally pulling you off, that's where people are gonna get hurt. We're in a sport. We're not in a war where we have to eliminate people."
MMA Hour: Jake Shields talked about how dirty Rousimar Palhares is prior to their fight