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NSAC Executive Director Addresses St. Pierre Controversy

Despite reports to the contrary, the camp for B.J. Penn had yet to have filed a formal complaint against the corner for Georges St. Pierre as of late Monday night.

“We haven’t gotten anything yet, but it’s early,” Nevada State Athletic Commissioner Executive Director Keith Kizer informed during an exclusive interview.

The reports of a possible complaint from Penn’s camp comes in response to allegations that the corner for St. Pierre improperly applied lubricant to the shoulders and neck of St. Pierre. The allegations were confirmed by Kizer, who detailed the incident.

“After the end of the first round and just as the second round began, one of the inspectors came over to me and said during the time out that one of the cornermen — who I believe was Phil Nurse for the first round — was putting Vaseline on Georges’ face and that he then rubbed Georges’ shoulders,” said Kizer. “It’s okay to rub a guy’s shoulders but you’ve got to make sure the Vaseline is off your hand and it looked and appeared that there might have still be some Vaseline on his hands while he was rubbing his shoulders and upper back between the rounds.”

Despite the warning brought forth by the initial infraction, Kizer indicated that a potential second violation occurred between the second and third round.

“My chief inspector Tony Lato and I were sitting there and we were just behind Georges to his left so we were watching very closely at the end of the second round,” began Kizer. “At this time I believe it was Mr. Jackson — and both guys were in the cage but this time I believe it was Mr. Jackson — was putting the Vaseline on Georges’ face. When he put his hand on Georges’ back to do his breathing thing, there appeared to still be some Vaseline on his hand. Not a lot, but it still appeared to be there because he went directly from the face to the back for the breathing exercise.

“Tony and I yelled at him and it appeared he couldn’t hear us as a result of the noise from the crowd inside of the arena so I immediately got into the Octagon, something I rarely ever do and hopefully have to never do again. I went over to Greg and yelled at him so he could hear me tell him to take his hand off Georges’ back and he did. We then had the camp as well as the inspectors wipe off Mr. St. Pierre’s back and shoulders and I told these guys to be careful and stop doing that.”

From that point forward, Jackson and Nurse honored the commission’s wishes.

“After the round, as we he was going to his corner, I think it was Greg who came over to me and said ‘Hey, look I was just trying to help with his breathing.’ I said ‘Look, we’ll deal with this later. Just don’t do that again.’ At the end of the third round we watched them and they didn’t do anything like that. They were very careful but we still had his back and shoulders wiped off to play it safe,” stated Kizer.

Kizer’s decision to enter the cage was visible to anyone who attended after the event. However, the aftermath that ensued afterward was not. According to Kizer, Penn’s camp immediately expressed concern after the fight.

Regan Penn came over and I spoke with him and I kind of just told him what we had observed and what we had done about it,” he described. “Obviously he was not very pleased with the behavior of Mr. St. Pierre’s corner and neither were we.

“… I also spoke to one of St. Pierre’s corner people in the back and basically told him that it was unacceptable and he said it was it was accidental. Regardless of whether it was accidental or not, it was improper and unfortunately because of it, some fans my look at it as a tainted victory by St. Pierre and neither he or B.J. Penn deserve such a response for such a great fight.”

While Jackson and Nurse may have had no malicious intent in performing breathing exercises on St. Pierre, their actions were still considered to be serious in nature and Kizer indicated that their ability to corner fighters could be affected in the future.

“It was just very disconcerting and later I had our chief inspector tell the cornermen that if they ever do anything like that again that it will probably be the last time they ever work a corner in Nevada for any event,” Kizer began to explain. “Also, Mr. Fertitta and Mr. White also indicated that they were very disappointed and perhaps that they wouldn’t work a corner for any UFC regardless of location but I will leave that to the UFC and them. We’ll only deal with it from Nevada’s perspective.”

In closing, Kizer was asked whether the infractions committed were serious enough to create a situation where St. Pierre’s victory could possibly be overturned.

“Any licensing is subject to fines or suspensions based on their behavior. Whether or not this rises to that, I cannot say. I’d want to get all sides and perspectives and whether the stern warning was sufficient or if more needs to be done has yet to be determined. But that’s probably it and there’s probably no basis for a protest of the decision itself. We wiped him down and you do what you can to make it a level playing field.”

  • truth says:

    Executive Director Keith Kizer “told him that it was unacceptable” “At this time I believe it was Mr. Jackson — and both guys were in the cage but this time I believe it was Mr. Jackson” ” there appeared to still be some Vaseline on his hand. Not a lot, but it still appeared to be there because he went directly from the face to the back for the breathing exercise.” So this sucker was right there, but can’t confirm that there was actually vaseline on GSP’s back, jumped into the ring and everything, but can’t make a concrete statement. He “appears” and “believes”.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Within the context of the NSAC’s rules there shouldn’t be any sort of serious repercussions. They read, “The excessive use of grease or any other foreign substance may not be used on the face or body of an unarmed combatant. The referees or the Commission’s representative in charge shall cause any excessive grease or foreign substance to be removed.” Clearly there was nothing “excessive” being applied to GSP’s back/shoulders.

  • Witch Doctor says:

    i’m confused. i haven’t seen anywhere in everything that i’ve read that st. pierre’s corner was legit’ly warned after the first rd, and then still made the supposed infraction later, even with a warning. where is this information? also, on the front page of this site there is a headline that says penn has filed a complaint…yet he has not now, nor did he then. isn’t this kind of reporting misleading if inaccurate? shouldn’t you change your headline to be more accurate…more like…penn’s camp complains of greasing..?

  • Mack says:

    You fail to mention that St. Pierre was rubbed down with a towel by members of the NSAC to make sure excess Vaseline was not on him before the beginning of the second, third and fourth round.

    From Kizer himself; inspector did use a towel to wipe St. Pierre’s back between rounds two and three, and three and four.

    Editor’s Note: How did we fail to mention it? Kizer is quoted in the article you just submitted a comment to. A lot of readers are hitting the comment button in response to articles on this site without having finished reading them.

  • revjames says:

    “Also, Mr. Fertitta and Mr. White also indicated that they were very disappointed and perhaps that they wouldn’t work a corner for any UFC regardless of location but I will leave that to the UFC and them.”

    Just having that cross the minds of the UFC top brass makes GSP’s cornermen look pretty bad. This was supposed to be the fight that ended all the controversy. “Mistakes” are not cool at this level of the sport.

    They should be suspended from cornering for a year.

    No one thinks BJ would have won otherwise, but if it helped GSP even in the most “miniscule” way slip out of BJ’s guard then it’s a travesty.

    If it’s just the mistake they say it is, then they are simply idiots for doing anything that would taint GSP’s triumph in the slightest or create any controversy around this super fight.

  • Rob says:

    Thank you revjames!! I’ve been trying to explain that to people since the fight ended. No one thinks Penn would have won the fight, but it would have been much more competetive in my eyes…

  • john says:

    you know it has to be said, is this controversy only created to justify an overhyped fight turned into a thrashing? Is every BJ Penn fan searching for a reason that their was no offense or defence from BJ. Hey we all need a reason right. When Gsp got caught against serra, we all blamed it on his chin and his focus, knowing damn well in MMA it can happen to anyone. Let it GO BJ FANS! GSP is that good.

    GSP learns from his mistakes, works harder than most, and although his game plan may not knock a guy out with one punch, he makes sure you will consider retirement after you fight him.

  • Witch Doctor says:

    oh my god. this is exactly the type of thing i would expect from penn fanboys…’penn wouldn’t have won, but it would have been MUCH MORE COMPETITIVE’. sorry dude, every single report out there is quoted kizer and the commission for wiping st. pierre down ‘very, very hard’. meaning there is little to zero vaseline to make a difference in the fight. bj got owned, simple as that.

  • DAVE (formally Thorazine) says:

    SCREW that!, let them fight again on UFC FIGHT NIGHT, like Tito versus Shamrock, we’ll watch if for FREE… LETS DO PENN VS GSP III,,, and maybe GSP can end it in 3 ROUNDS with a KO to end this stupid controversy!!! All this is BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BS BSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

  • DAVE (formally Thorazine) says:

    I do some assistant wrestling coaching and have lotioned up, ya know soft n’ silky skin?… I’ve had some wrestlers comment that I was slippery, now an official nor anyone else would be able to identify exactly what was going on, except maybe an opponent. Now this might be going on with some of these “slippery fighters”… any comments on this plausible scenrio?

  • Kym Ireland says:

    Lets all just wait and see if bj makes any real complaint or if he just lets it slide. No disrespect to bj but he was thoroughly beaten. Hopefully he goes back home and has a good look at himself and he trains seriously enough to use his natural talent to it’s full potential.


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