Following his loss to Lombard, Palhares stated that he would be moving down one weight class to the welterweight division. He made his debut in the new division against Mike Pierce on October 9, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 29 .  He won the fight via heel hook submission just 31 seconds into the first round. This was the only successful submission throughout the event. However, Palhares was denied a Submission of the Night bonus because he continued cranking the heel hook after the referee stepped in, an act UFC deemed "unsportsmanlike conduct." It was also noted that Pierce tapped a total of eight times to no response from Palhares.  The next day, while conducting an interview with ESPN 's Jeremy Schaap , UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC was releasing Palhares effective immediately due to not letting go of the submission.  Hours later, UFC and Zuffa released a statement saying that Palhares was already in trouble for his failure to release his heel hook on Drwal in 2010 and his drug suspension in 2012, and his actions the night before were the last straw.