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How do you think the WSOF title fight between Steve Carl and Rousimar Palhares plays out?
CASH NORMAN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The best blueprint to beating Palhares was exhibited by Alan Belcher; know how to calmly get out of a heel hook or leg lock then knock Toquinho out. Or Carl could work up a good sweat (or allegedly grease) like Nate Marquardt and quickly slip out of the heel hook then TKO Palhares as he looks away and complains to the referee. Or yet still, Carl also has the option of forcing him against the fence and teeing off on him like Hector Lombard.
However, the most likely scenario for Steve Carl is to use his length and reach advantage to maintain distance. Then cautiously push a pace to tire Palhares while striking on the feet. Since Rousimar Palhares is a specialist, if Carl can successfully prevent Toquinho from jumping guard and thus frustrate him, then Carl could find a window to string together shots for the knockout.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Palhares has a plethora of advantages against Carl, but that doesn't mean Carl won't win. Carl has defied odds before but in the end I just believe solidly we see Rousimar "Break Your Ankle" Palhares win a belt here and it's sickening. Carl has a chance, but he has to keep it standing, otherwise the proverbial poop hits the fan.
KALE HAVERVOLD, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I still think it was a mistake for the UFC to get rid of Palhares, but I see why they did that. I'm going to be original and say that Palhares wins via submission.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Carl takes it. Unfortunately, I think all eyes will be on Palhares to see how he handles himself. It's sad that this guy is getting another opportunity so soon after acting like a complete thug. We'll see what happens, but I think Carl will be able to get the decision win. I think they go back and forth for a while, being really tentative, but Carl does enough to get the decision. He should be hesitant to engage on the ground so he'll likely keep the fight standing. I hope nothing bad happens, but you never know. Palhares should be on his best behavior, though, and I think that slow him down enough that Carl edges him.
TOM STRONG, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
As an MMA fan I'm really looking forward to Steve Carl vs. Rousimar Palhares. WSOF are heading in the right direction with the talent they have on their roster, and the shows they're putting on. Both fighters have a combined twenty-six submissions victories between them. Carl (21-3) who became the first ever WSOF welterweight champion by defeating Josh Burkman in October 2013, will have his hands full when he faces the recently released UFC fighter Rousimar Palhares (15-5).
Palhares isn't a fighter I hold in high regard. Mike Pierce tapped eight times to Palhares before he decided it was time to let go off the heel hook. This forced the UFC to take again and release him from his contract. Thus this not being the first time it happened! Prior to this he failed a drug test for elevated testosterone levels after his loss to Hector Lombard back in 2012. There just isn't a place for this in MMA, I hope for one, this is a wake up call he needs to turn himself around.
Like many bouts when two athletes are so equal in one department we see a completely different fight. In this case I see this being no different. A stand up fight could take place here, and if that's the case it's a coin toss.
Prediction: Steve Carl by decision
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