World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo is reconsidering his position of welterweight free agent Rousimar Palhares (15-5).
After initially telling MMAWeekly.com that he wasn’t keen on bringing the submission ace to his promotion’s ranks, Sefo today admitted he’s currently reevaluating his position and could potentially make Palhares an offer.
“Initially, I’ll admit I didn’t think World Series of Fighting should even entertain the idea of bring Palhares on board,” Sefo told MMAjunkie. “But I’ve been speaking with our team, as well as some people I trust throughout the industry, and I’m not so sure he doesn’t deserve another chance.
“We haven’t made any concrete decisions just yet, but I think maybe Palhares could be a valuable part of our organization.”
Sefo said he’s had some initial talks with Palhares’ manager, Alex Davis, but declined to divulge just how far those conversations had progressed. However, he said it was actually a recent “MMA Hour” interview with MMA legend Renzo Gracie that first encouraged him to take a second look at “Toquinho,” who was released from the UFC following an October win over Mike Pierce in Brazil in which Palhares appeared to hold on to a heel hook even after his opponent tapped out and the referee tried to break the lock.
“I really didn’t think he held it too long,” Gracie said. “You have to understand, especially heel hooks, it is a finishing hold that you can lose at any time. He can lose the position at any time, and the next thing you’ll see the guy is going to claim that he didn’t tap and everything is gone. So he really needs to add intensity on it. Unfortunately, people saw it with poor eyes.
“That’s an MMA match, man. The reality, intensity is the name of the game, so you have to allow things like that to go. Some submissions will be held a little longer. That’s going to happen. If I could, every submission I did, I would hold a little longer.”
Sefo, a Hall of Fame kickboxer, said that statement encouraged him to reconsider his stance, and after speaking with a few trusted resources, he thinks an offer may soon follow.
“I was a little outraged at first, just like a lot of people were,” Sefo said. “But I think Renzo explained it very well, and it opened my eyes. I don’t think Palhares is a bad human being, and his skills as a fighter are undeniable. I’m starting to think he could potentially be a nice addition to our roster.”
While it’s not the first time in his career, Palhares has been accused of holding on to a submission longer than necessary, Davis previously stated his client did not act with any ill intentions and would continue to look to compete at an elite level.
“He is not a bad person or dirty fighter, and he is not trying to hurt people,” Davis stated. “Somehow, he just doesn’t hear or feel things at these moments. He worked very hard to get this far in his career, and he is not going to give up on it.”