A little push after a fight is over, an intentional illegal strike, or even some explicit words exchanged during a fight. It all boils down to sportsmanship. The first two can get people hurt but rarely do. What about someone who holds a submission too long with the intention of really hurting someone. Well, that is against all that real martial arts stands for. If it is done to win a fight, so that the ref sees the tap, because there have been controversial decisions based on someone saying they weren’t tapping in the past, then that is a little different. The tapping fighter should have integrity enough to admit they tapped but there have been cases where they did not admit it. Anyway, I’m talking about someone intentionally trying to render their opponent unconscious or even more diabolically injure them seriously.
Rousimar Palhares has seen better days. The once UFC contender and former World Series of Fighting Champion was in action this past weekend and it did not go well. Palhares fought Michal Materla at KSW 36 in Poland and in the second round of the bout a right uppercut from Materla leveled Palhares. I don’t think many fans will be feeling sorry for him as he is probably one of the most detested fighters in MMA. If it wasn’t for his tendency to hold on to submissions long after his opponent has tapped he would most likely still be fighting in the UFC.
Palhares was released by the UFC in 2013 after several instances where he failed to release submissions after the tap. After his release he was given a shot by World Series of Fighting and won their welterweight title. He defended it twice with two big submission wins, one against Jon Fitch and another against Jake Shields. The one against Shields caused him to be released from the promotion after holding on to the submission long after Shields tapped.
Karma is a mother when it hits you.
Another famous UFC fighter was Babalu, Ronato Sobral. In the 74th UFC Babalu Sobral faced David Heath and dominated him with superior ground-and-pound. In the second round, he opened a cut on Heath’s forehead. Then he locked in a choke. Heath tapped. In the vast majority of cases once fighters feel the tap, they release the submission. Babalu kept applying the choke despite the tap. It was due to some trash talking before the fight that Babalu thought was disrespectful. He let him go after Heath passed out. “He has to learn respect. He deserved that. He called me a mother effer,” Babalu said during his post-fight interview in not so many words. Needless to say, Babalu never fought in the UFC ever again. Additionally, the Nevada State Athletic Commission withheld half of Sobral’s $50,000 fight purse. Karma was immediate and Ronato has had some success in smaller promotions but lost his contract in the big show after that stunt.
In summary, there have been notoriously bad-tempered fighters in the cage. I just wanted to tell you a little about a couple of them and show you why some people may think that MMA isn’t a real martial art, just a barbaric “human cock fight” as it was once dubbed. The actions of a few can spoil it for the rest right? Not really, the UFC is bigger and more famous than ever. They do really promote a good skilled martial art’s attitude and hope that their fighters obey a code of conduct that applies to most professionals. I just hope that the world sees the beauty of the art and that these guys are true martial artists through-and-through, despite the despicable actions of some fighters.