No Resolution to Penn-GSP Greasegate Saga
Ariel Shnerer / March 17, 2009 - 6:50pm
No formal resolution was made in the official hearing for allegations against Georges St-Pierre of "greasing" in his bout against B.J. Penn at UFC 94.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission held the hearing on Tuesday at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
Penn alleged that St-Pierre was cheating because his cornerman Phil Nurse used Vaseline on the welterweight champion's chest and back in between rounds. According to Penn, St-Pierre's slippery body prevented him from effectively utilizing his world-class jiu-jitsu and high guard.
Penn's aim with the hearing, which was held after the Hawaiian made a formal complaint against the French-Canadian titleholder, was to have the decision overturned and the bout ruled a no contest.
During the hearing, St-Pierre's striking coach Phil Nurse spoke on the controversial matter. He denied knowingly cheating when applying Vaseline to his fighter in between rounds.
Moreover, St-Pierre's head coach Greg Jackson reiterated that gaining an unfair advantage was not intentional. Both members of GSP's camp apologized for the violation and assured the commission that Vaseline would no longer be used in the champion's corner.
Meanwhile, Penn insisted that Vaseline application played a critical role in the high-profile title fight and St-Pierre's camp should face the consequences for "cheating."
The UFC 155-pound champ claimed that St-Pierre and his camp were caught in the act.
His lawyer, Raffi Nahebedian, questioned the credibility of the opening proceedings. "You guys witnessed today what I consider to be prejudicial footage," he said.
According to Penn and his attorney, the video shown at the hearing was unfair because it omitted footage from the end of the second round when a member of the commission told Executive Director Keith Kizer that he saw Nurse put grease on St-Pierre's body.
St-Pierre was not present at the hearing.
"I'm very surprised that Mr. St-Pierre is not here because Mr. Nurse and Mr. Jackson are here because the commission was on the lookout for Mr. St-Pierre," said Penn.
Penn accused St-Pierre of cheating for personal gain. "It must be strictly about the money or the fame," he said.
Lorraine Shin, Penn's mother, also spoke at the hearing. She expressed concern about the commission reprimanding St-Pierre and reiterated that an example must be set as a precedent for future greasing infractions.
"It's for my love of the sport," said Shin. "It's to protect every fighter that comes forward."
The NSAC concluded the meeting without an official judgment on the matter. Unlike initially expected, the conflict is left unresolved.
Penn has yet to announce his next move.