The headlining fighters of WSOF 22 PPV, Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields have been suspended temporarily from competition by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for their misconduct during the August 1st card. It all started during the match, with Palhares gouging Shields' eyes and holding on to the kimura, even though the latter tapped several times in the third round. And this prompted Shields to take a post-fight swing at Palhares, which led NSAC banning the American too.
Shortly after the ban, Palhares was stripped of his welterweight championship title even though he denied the eye gouging accusations. WSOF President Ray Sefo announcement on Tuesday’s The MMA Hour. He said:
"Viewing it live, I seen a few time where Palhares stuck his fingers in Jake Shields' eyes. I didn't want to jump the gun, so I went home after the event, I logged on to my computer and watched the whole fight. And 100-percent, not only did he do it once or twice, he did it numerous times and he was warned by the referee on four different occasions. Now, he says he didn't gouge his eyes, but, the fact remains that his fingers were in Jake's eyes. It's illegal. Then the fact that he held that submission way too long. I counted and Jake tapped like nine times. I counted the time Steve Mazzagati tapped him on his back and it was like six times. So, after sitting down with my team and reviewing it again, we've come to the conclusion that we're not only going to strip him of his title immediately, we are also suspending him indefinitely. Obviously the commission is also doing their own investigation. I''ve always been an advocate for fighters and this type of behavior needs to stop. I've come out and defended Palhares on several occasions as well as Ali. We have giving him more than a fair chance. Also, I'm not the only one that saw this. My team isn't the only ones that saw this. Thousands and thousands of people that tweeted saw this. So, you can't deny the fact, it was dirty and that's why WSOF is standing by its decision."
"I think he needs to speak to somebody and they'll be able to tell us exactly what the issue is. When you talk to the guy outside of the [cage], he seems like a very polite, very nice guy. When he's in there, something triggers and I don't know what that is. I think the sad part of this is the guy is a great fighter. When Jake Shields is tapping nine times and the referee is tapping you six, seven times and literally pulling you off, that's where people are gonna get hurt. We're in a sport. We're not in a war where we have to eliminate people."