After back-to-back losses and a recent suspension for PED use, Palhares can’t afford to come up short against Mike Pierce. Factor in the fight will also mark his 170 pound debut, and expectations are even higher for the stocky submission-specialist so he’ll be under an even MORE intense microscope than might be the case if he was still competing as an undersized middleweight. Moving to welterweight was his way of earning another link on his leash but it’s still a short one in general.
Stakes are already high entering any fight, especially when it comes to action inside the Octagon. In addition to a solid chunk of cash being up for grabs, there are other factors to consider as well in terms of the need to avoid injury and the impact a performance might have when it comes to continued employment in the organization. When it comes to the latter, there are definitely more than a few fighters set for UFC Fight Night 29 who are in a precarious position where victory may very well be the only way to avoid release. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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