In light of their five year suspension of Nick Diaz for failing a questionable looking marijuana test, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has been getting hammered all week. Fans, media, and fighters alike have been vocal about them ignoring the evidence that suggested that his positive test should be ignored. Now, another fighter, Jon Fitch, is taking more shots at the commission regarding a matter from Monday’s meeting, but it has nothing to do with Diaz.
One of the items on the agenda was the recent Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields fight for the World Series of Fighting Welterweight championship. Shields was winning the fight until Palhares repeatedly, flagrantly gouged his eyes while grappling. Referee Steve Mazzagatti let Palhares off with just a slew of warnings as Shields screamed at him for doing nothing. Eventually, Palhares swept Shields, tapped him with a Kimura, and held the hold long after Mazzagatti stepped in. Shields punched Palhares off his back after the proverbial bell, and both were temporarily suspended. Palhares’ hearing was delayed, while Shields got community service right before Diaz’s long hearing.
That brings us to today, where MMA Junkie caught up with Jon Fitch, Palhares’ previous victim. “He’s taken a lot of dirty shots at people (by) holding on to submissions—he held on to mine, I think, a little bit too long —but I think the blame falls on the commission, I’m going to blame the commission first. This is the commission’s fault.” He’s speaking of Palhares’s long history of releasing submissions late.
Fitch noted that his former teammate at AKA, Mike Kyle, was punished much more harshly by commissions for attacking an opponent after a fight was stopped and it followed him everywhere. With Palhares, it took several late submissions to really get regulators’ attention.“It never should gotten to the sixth time. How does it ever get to the sixth time? If this was the sixth marijuana offense, where would his suspension be? Right? So how did it get to six times?”
Fitch fights Yushin Okami in Okami’s welterweight debut at WSOF 24 on October 17th.