The WSOF basically gave Rousimar Palhares a gift wrapped title when Ray Sefo decided to grant the newcomer an instant title shot. So much for punishment for the repeat offender. He will step into the main event on Saturday to fight WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl.
There is always a puncher’s chance when it comes to combat sports, but it is really hard to imagine Carl walking away from the cage still champion. He only has two wins by KO/TKO but 16 by submission, showing he likes a ground battle. If he goes to the ground with Palhares, the fight will be over quickly.
Palhares will more than likely snatch the victory with one of his patented leg locks. Hopefully the ref steps in before Palhares — who is known for holding submissions after the bell rings — snaps a limb.
Giving Palhares a direct title shot was the wrong move for the WSOF. Though he had some success in the UFC, he should have still went on to fight another contender in the division before being granted a title shot (Jon Fitch, Josh Burkman). The only individual who deserved an instant title shot was Yushin Okami, who was not granted the honor.
It’s not to say Palhares wouldn’t have been able to work is way to a title shot — the man is very dangerous on the ground— but he should have been tested first. In the end, we will likely see “Toquinho” walk away from the cage as the new WSOF welterweight champion. The question is, who will be the next fighter to step up and battle Palhares when it is all said and done?