Coming out of last night’s fight, I figured we’d all be agreeing that it was BJ Penn’s corner that did a shitty job, doing little other than discouraging Penn between rounds and giving him useless advice like “Do you want this, BJ?” But now it looks like someone over in Georges St Pierre’s corner might have done a worse job: he might have tainted the biggest win of GSP’s career with allegations of cheating. Cage Potato has the scoop:
B.J. Penn’s camp has filed a formal complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission over Vaseline that was allegedly rubbed on Georges St. Pierre’s back between rounds one and two. UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight press conference that he was aware of the complaint, and said he personally witnessed members of the commission take the Vaseline away from GSP’s camp and rebuke them in the Octagon between rounds.
“I saw the commission jump up there and flipping out,” said Dana White. They said one of the guys was rubbing Vaseline on Georges’ back in between rounds. It was one and two, I think.”
“The guys from the athletic commission went up there and started screaming at them. Knocked the Vaseline and kicked the Vaseline out of the Octagon.”
Right now there are two schools of thought developing:
1. GSP was handling BJ so badly that the Vaseline never came into play; the amount of Vaseline used was so small it wasn’t going to affect anything. It wasn’t sinister, it was just a mistake.
2. It looks like guys were rubbing the shit out of Georges throughout the entire fight. How many times did this rubbing involve Vaseline? Even if it wasn’t sinister, it’s still a massive mistake and raises some serious questions.
BJ’s people have a right to be pissed. In a very direct way, Vaseline on GSP’s back could have kept BJ from working his guard effectively. And if it was on GSP’s back, it would soon be on BJ’s calves because of the way he uses his guard. Was this why GSP was able to slip through his legs so easily? I respect the fuck out of GSP’s abilities, but it looked like he was crushing a white belt out there instead of one of MMA’s greatest jiu jitsu players. That’s enough to warrant suspicion.
Simply put, this situation is too new to be able to say conclusively what is what. It all depends on how many times his trainers rubbed Georges with Vaseline hands and how much was on their hands. Right now it sounds like it happened once and the commission had GSP’s back toweled down immediately after. But some are already saying it might have happened a few times, so who knows what will come up when the NSAC looks at the tapes of Georges’ corner?
This is obviously a bad fucking scene. You would like to think that neither GSP nor his corner have anything to do with cheating. You’d also like to think that BJ Penn’s camp would only press for an investigation if they thought the situation had affected the outcome of the fight. One thing is for sure: this isn’t a scandal that MMA needs right now .. we already had one a few months ago and that sucked enough. But things are what they are and we’re gonna have to dig a bit to see if Georges’ cornermen just fucked up or if there was a concentrated effort to grease GSP up between rounds.