This is the last thing the UFC or MMA needs right now. Apparently St-Pierre's cornerman, Phil Nurse, rubbed Vaseline on his back and shoulders in between rounds.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission freaked out when they saw it and took the Vaseline from St-Pierre's corner. Following the fight, Penn's camp filed a formal complaint. There are still a lot of loose ends right now, but there definitely seems to be some tricky tactics going on.
It should also be noted, this is not the first time an opponent has accused St-Pierre of being extra slippery (Sean Sherk and Matt Hughes have also questioned GSP's slick demeanor and possibly Matt Serra, if my memory is working today).
Does this change the outcome of the fight? I know that's the question most are thinking about. It's impossible to know. Penn tried more than a few times to position his legs high on GSP's back, but they kept slipping back down. It's entirely possible the Vaseline impaired his ability to defend from his back and position to a submission attempt.
That does not mean he would have magically sinked in a submission and won the fight. It just means Penn was at a disadvantage he should not have been at. It is the job of the State Athletic Commission to make sure each fighter is safe from undue harm. In this case, they failed. Penn took serious punishment on the ground and has a right to be a little upset about this.
Here are Rudy Valentino's thoughts on it.
I've received some emails from readers who were there telling me that while this was going on Chuck Liddell was flipping out at cageside. Supposedly he saw what was going on and made a scene. One reader wrote, "I thought someone spit on Chuck. He was going nuts."
(The gif above is not the only instance or even a full clip of what happened. This is later in the fight (I think between rounds three and four) when the Commission had two guards try to towel GSP off, although they do about as horrible a job as you can possibly do.
Between rounds two and three, the camera was not on GSP's corner until the very end of the break. All they showed was the two guards flipping out and arguing with GSP's corner about the Vaseline, so I'm guessing they watched them do it again, then finally stepped in.)
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