Georges St-Pierre Told Same Exact Rule as Nick Diaz Prior to UFC 158 Weigh-Ins

Damon MartinContributor IApril 11, 2013

Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in between Georges St.Pierre and Nick Diaz during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC 158 weigh-ins appear to be the one part of the event that simply will not go away.

The card that took place in Montreal in mid-March ended with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre putting on a dominant performance over Nick Diaz to retain his title in the main event.

It didn't take long, however, for controversy to swirl when a backstage video surfaced showing a UFC employee telling Diaz and his camp that the Quebec Athletic Commission handles weigh-ins a little bit differently.  The wrinkle was that despite a contracted weight of 170 pounds, which is the maximum allowed in any welterweight title fight, the commission would count any weight up to 170.9 as 170 pounds, rounding down the decimal point.

Following the revelation of that video and information, the Quebec commission responded with a statement released to Bleacher Report via email on March 26 that said:

I wish to inform you that, during UFC 158, no contestants exceeded the weight determined in their contracts.  Currently, the Régie (athletic commission) does take into consideration the maximum weight determined by contract when it carries out the weight-ins before a bout.  However, our regulation on combat sports does not take decimals into account.  Their consideration is a question of interpretation likely to be debated between the two parties under contract.

Immediately, Diaz and his camp pounced on the story, demanding additional information after they believed St-Pierre received some sort of preferential treatment by the commission based in the fighter's home province.

On Thursday, the Associated Press published an interview with St-Pierre, who admitted he was told the exact same thing as Diaz about the weigh-in rules. 

"They came to us just before weighing and even I was surprised.  They told us they were going (to) round (the decimals down)," St-Pierre said in the interview.

St-Pierre couldn't remember the exact number but stated that even if he weighed 170.4 that Friday afternoon in Montreal the additional weight was not counted, and he was announced as weighing 170 pounds.

The translation of St-Pierre's interview was at first misconstrued, but from all accounts the UFC champion made weight without incident but still the commission explained the rules to him the same way they did Diaz.

The problem seems to fall squarely in the lap of the Quebec commission for these exceptions that are not currently outlined in its rulebook for MMA events.  Diaz's camp has claimed in past statements that they believe the commission ruled this way to allow "their home-town fighter to 'make weight' even if he weighed more than the contracted weight." 

They have also demanded that St-Pierre give Diaz a rematch for the title with both competitors weighing in at exactly 170 pounds or less.  That scenario is unlikely to come to fruition, but as far as the claims about the commission apparently being at fault in this case, there seems to be some merit.

(Edited to clarify St-Pierre's translated statement via the interview)

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.