Although Rousimar Palhares isn’t probably the first name fans think of when discussing old school UFC fighters, “Toquinho” has been with the promotion now going on six years. The feared submission artist tapped out Ivan Salaverry with a first round armbar in his Octagon debut, which took place back in May, 2008…Crazy.
While Palhares went on to score an impressive 7-2 record in his next 9 bouts, the Brazilian incurred back-to-back stoppage losses to Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard to close out 2012. As a result, the 5’8 Palhares decided to drop down from middleweight to welterweight. So how does the leglock master feel as he’s set to battle rugged welterweight Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29 ? While speaking to MMA Fighting.com recently, here’s what Palhares relayed:
“I feel better than I expected at 170,” Palhares said. “I did a 20-minute fight in the gym one day after I cut down to 170 and did great. I’ve changed everything in my diet. I can eat everything but carbohydrates and sugar. It was tough, man. I loved to eat meat, french fries, chocolate and ice cream, but that’s okay.”
When you consider the only men to defeat Pierce to date are Jon Fitch, Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck (all via decision), Palhares should be in for a big test on October 9th.
“Anything can happen,” the veteran said. “I have many other submissions, I just haven’t had the opportunity to show them yet. I haven’t showed many things from my arsenal. You can’t think that I only have the heel hook, but I’m really good at it and people worry more about that. If my opponent doesn’t want to go to the ground because he doesn’t want me to attack his foot, he will train that a lot and maybe he doesn’t pay attention to other things.”
It’s a big fight for both men; no question. UFC Fight Night 29 will be hosted by the Jose Correa Arena, Barueri, Brazil.
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