Rousimar Palhares got back to competition for the first time since being suspended by the Nevada Athletic Comission in 2015 for unsportsmanlike conduct. The two-year suspension has not been lifted, so fighting at Venator FC overseas in Milan, Italy was a loophole that “Toquinho” slipped through to fight once again.
Palhares’ Venator debut didn’t go as he had planned in the welterweight title fight as opponent Emil Meek gave “Toquinho” his first loss since 2012, taking the former WSOF champ out by TKO.
However, the loss comes with controversy as “Toquinho” says that he was hit with illegal strikes that led to the outcome of the fight.
“What went wrong in the fight is that I was hit with illegal elbows in the back of the head and couldn’t see anything next,” Palhares told MMA Fighting. “When I was hit, I went out. I couldn’t even understand what happened. I kept asking my corners what happened, because I felt a strike in the back of my head and then I just saw the referee in front of me, and felt the pain in the back of my head. I was upset because I didn’t fight and they let him continue after the first strike in the back of the head. I wasn’t in the fight anymore after it.”
“I didn’t say anything (after the fight) because I was off, but my coaches saw and complained, but nobody did anything,” he said. “They just sent me to the hospital for observation, to make sure everything was alright with my brain. I stayed there for 12 hours and then they let me go, and asked me to do another MRI in Brazil.”
While “Toquinho” said that he doesn’t blame Meek for the strikes, he says the referee should have done a better job observing the fight.
Palhares says he is still feeling the effects of the blows from Meek and is genuinely worried about his health mentioning feeling dizzy and like he is going to “black out.”
Palhares will see if the results of his MRI taken in Brazil differ from the one taken in Italy after his fight.