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Does this look like a guilty face?
Before entering the Octagon for a UFC fight, each participating competitor has Vaseline rubbed on his face to reduce the likelihood of being cut.
This standard procedure was, of course, part of each and every one of the contests that went down at UFC 148.
After entering the cage, but before the fight started, Anderson Silva touched his face then rubbed his body, presumably transporting the Vaseline to his chest and arms.
The problem here is that not only does Vaseline prevent and stop bleeding, but it is also very slippery. Because of its oily texture, Vaseline is prohibited from being used on a fighter's body because it makes it difficult for an opponent to grab a hold of the covered competitor.
Does Georges St-Pierre-B.J. Penn ring any bells?
It was obvious that Silva was moving the Vaseline from his face to his body last night, but the intent is a bit less so.
For starters, Silva may have performed the action unconsciously, simply trying to remove a glob of Vaseline from his face, then later from his fingers. Of course, the natural place to do that would be on his shorts not his body.
But still, would he go ahead and try it during the pre-fight ceremonies when everyone is watching. On one hand, he probably wouldn't be stupid enough to do that. On the other hand, hiding in plain sight can be deceptively clever.
So was Silva looking for a leg up? Only he, and maybe his camp, know that. That he happened to be fighting a guy who previously dominated him for four-and-a-half rounds via wrestling and ground-and-pound is a circumstantial indication that he was conscious of what he was doing, but circumstantial evidence doesn't count for a whole lot.
But regardless, whether he was trying to cheat or not ultimately had no effect on the outcome of the fight, as referee Yves Levine noticed what Silva was doing and wiped him off with a towel before the contest began.