Rousimar Palhares aims to rejuvenate career in welterweight division
Rousimar Palhares will make his welterweight debut in UFC Fight Night 29 against Mike Pierce
Submission specialist Rousimar Palhares will make his octagon return this Wednesday in UFC Fight Night 29. Palhares, whose stocky build earned him the nickname “Toquinho”, promised to reinvent himself by dropping to 170lbs for the first time in his career. He made the transition after suffering consecutive knockout losses to Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard. He says that he felt better when he dropped to 170 lbs.
“I feel better than I expected at 170,” he said. “I did a 20-minute fight in the gym one day after I cut down to 170 and did great. I’ve changed everything in my diet. I can eat everything but carbohydrates and sugar. It was tough, man. I loved to eat meat, French fries, chocolate and ice cream, but that’s okay.”
Palhares was once included in the mix of top middleweights, he is 7 – 4 in the UFC with 5 of those wins coming from submissions. His upcoming fight at 170 lbs is his first cage appearance after taking a 9 month suspension for elevated testosterone levels in his KO loss to Lombard.
However, he would meet a stiff challenge in his welterweight debut. He is slated to face Mike Pierce who is currently riding in a four fight winning streak. Pierce has a record of 9 – 3 in the octagon and he has not been stopped in his entire career. Palhares has pointed out that he has studied Pierce and he knows what to do come fight night.
“He likes to work on the clinch, closer to the fence, and sometimes he goes for a takedown,” Palhares said. “Many people believe he won’t try to take me down, but I’m training for everything. I’m working on things that have to be worked on. I’m letting my sparring partners work on the fence so I have to defend myself. I like to work this way so I’m forced to evolve.”
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