"I’m working a lot on my striking game. I’m a different fighter now. I’m training with Erivan Conceicao, one of the best boxing coaches in the world, and he’s working a lot on my striking game. I’m very confident. Anything can happen. I have many other submissions, I just haven't had the opportunity to show them yet. I haven’t showed many things from my arsenal. You can’t think that I only have the heel hook, but I’m really good at it and people worry more about that. If my opponent doesn’t want to go to the ground because he doesn’t want me to attack his foot, he will train that a lot and maybe he doesn’t pay attention to other things."
There’s no question Rousimar Palhares was a serious threat at 185 pounds based on his aggressive, yet technically sound, approach to attacking on the ground. However, while the stocky submission-specialist tapped out some tough opponents during his run at middleweight, he was never able to take his game to the next level and struggled to succeed against upper-echelon adversaries. After losing back-to-back bouts, “Toquinho” decided to drop down to welterweight, making his divisional debut in a few days at UFC Fight Night 29 where he’ll meet Mike Pierce. Palhares recently spoke with MMAFighting about the match-up, also offering his takes on a recent suspension for an elevated testosterone level, seeing a sports psychologist, and more. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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