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B.J. Penn requests formal investigation

After reports all week stated that UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn was in the process of filing a complaint against Georges St. Pierre, the Nevada State Athletic Commission notified on Wednesday that Penn has instead filed a formal request for an investigation into alleged infractions committed by St. Pierre before and during their UFC 94 title fight this past Saturday.

“Dear Mr. Kizer,” the letter begins, addressed to NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer. “This letter is prepared on behalf of Mr. Jay Dee ‘B.J.’ Penn who participated in the UFC welterweight division ‘Championship Bout’ on January 31, 2009, against Georges St. Pierre (hereinafter ’bout’). While this letter is not a formal Complaint to the Nevada Athletic Commission, it shall serve as a formal request to the Commission that it engaged in a comprehensive investigation and review of the activities involving and relating to Georges St. Pierre (‘GSP’) prior to and during the Bout.”

The three page request for a formal investigation is in regard to whether St. Pierre’s corner, consisting of veteran MMA trainers Greg Jackson and Phil Nurse, improperly applied Vaseline to the neck, chest, and shoulders of St. Pierre.

While the letter at no point acts as a protest in which it is suggested that the outcome of the bout be overturned, it clearly outlines concern that the alleged infractions committed by St. Pierre had an adverse effect Penn’s ability to compete.

“Simply put, by lubricating GSP’s body a highly slippery surface was created that completely neutralized an innocent participant’s abilities and strategy to the advantage of GSP,” a passage in the fourth paragraph reads.

The letter, drafted by Nevada-based attorney Raffi A. Nahabedian, asserts that by St. Pierre having been improperly lubricated Penn’s greatest strength, his jiu-jitsu, was not as effective as it could have been.

“Mr. Penn’s most critical offensive and defensive strategies, his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, were rendered useless and he was unable to effectively control GSP and engage his submission techniques due to Mr. Penn’s legs and arm slipping out of the attempted holds/locks and GSP’s ability to readily slip out of the holds/locks due to the highly slipper surfaces on GSP’s body.”

One interesting revelation made in the letter is that Penn’s representatives assert that St. Pierre had a reputation for improper lubrication in the past and that Penn’s camp expressed concerns to the commission before the bout.

“Because of Mr. Penn’s prior experience and information provided to him before his participation in the Bout, a member of Mr. Penn’s team informed Commission members prior to the Bout of the possibility of GSP being ‘greased up’ during the Bout or engaging in activities that may cause him to be/become slippery during the Bout,” states the letter.

While the letter does not say so directly, there is language in the next sentence and a subsequent paragraph that could suggest that Penn’s camp expected a greater degree of protection from NSAC.

“While this discussion occurred, Mr. Penn and his team believed that the Commission would be on heightened alert to guard against such illegal activities and would take every precaution to ensure Mr. Penn’s safety and a fair and proper contest… Not withstanding these comments, it is clear that the Commission’s obligations to ensure and guard against such corruption and unfair advantage were severly compromised as people openly witnessed the improper application of an illegal substance over the neck, shoulders, and back of GSP the critical areas of Mr. Penn’s strategy to impose his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submission skills and techniques during the Bout.”

The letter goes on to add that Penn voiced complaints while the bout was taking place.

“Additionally, during the Bout, statements were made that GSP was ‘too slippery’ and that Mr. Penn could not grab or hold GSP because of ‘how slippery’ he was during the Bout.”

The letter closes by saying that Penn and his camp are willing to meet with NSAC with the hope that “the activities of GSP and his agents are properly dealt with by the Commission” and that Penn had wanted to have a “fair and just bout” at UFC 94 while continuing to seek “a fair and just encounter against Georges St. Pierre.”

The letter is signed only by Nahabedian with Penn and his Hawaiian-based attorneys Gary Levitt and Lawrence Epstein all carbon copied. Penn still has up until Feb. 10 to submit a formal complaint or protest.

  • vxbpoison says:

    Do you have a copy of the letter? If so, please post the entire letter.

  • G-DUB says:

    Awesome. I guess now BJ has an excuse for why he was beaten to a pulp for 20 minutes. I do believe this allleged infraction needs to be investigated further, but the language in this request makes me believe that BJ is now convinced that it was the vaseline that lost him the fight. Cool …. would love to see GSP rearrange BJs face one more time. Anyone think that BJ would agree to get in the ring with GSP again?? Right-right.

  • kidneybeans says:

    The story that wouldn’t die.

  • Glenn says:

    wow this is a new low. BJ is PATHETIC. take you beating like a man and move on.

  • keenan says:

    gsp would have done the same thing even if he was covered in that stuff on the top of skateboards. a lil vasalin on the neck isnt the reason for the takedowns. and ya throw em in the cage again, gsp can go tonight, can bj?

  • ChristianD says:

    You know what’s so dumb about all this? These guys go out and fight with globs of Vaseline all over their heads and faces every fight. Ever see how much of this shit they glob on a a cut? Yet somehow that’s not an issue. Somehow it doesn’t get all over the fighters when they grapple.

    This is more about the appearance that Nurse may have done something underhanded, not actual consequences of a fighter having a little grease on them.

  • Amir K says:

    Can’t wait to see GSP pound out Penn again but BJ been in hiding since the fight

  • Dan says:

    I have the entire letter, there’s really nothing noteworthy in it other than the fact that BJ was calling for an informal investigation.

  • Philip says:

    So, is BJ saying Nurse was really sly and put vaseline on GSP’s legs too…? Thaaat must be why GSP kept passing BJ’s guard…

  • AKN says:

    This stuff definitely needs to be investigated. I don’t think that’s the reason why BJ lost the fight but if BJ is true about complaining about him being slippery during the fight, we may have seen better ground skills on his part and more difficult for GSP to beat his guard. Maybe???

  • jj says:

    If they put vaseline on someones face to slip a punch what exactly is the difference if it’s used to slip a submission? It’s serving the same purpose, to prolong the fight.

    Not to mention the cut man greased up BJ’s chin, something that i’ve NEVER seen a cutman do before. Maybe thats why GSP couldn’t knock BJ out!!?!

    Wear a gi if its such an issue.

  • kingtcb says:

    I am totally convinced half of you would actually stick gsp’s penis in your mouths if given the chance. What exactly is the problem with bj calling out a cheater? Believe me were all on the same page the bj got his ass whooped and that’s fine I myself am a bj fan and was going onto the fight knowing gsp was just better all around especially at that weight. Look at it this way are they taking away every home run Jason giambi hit because he tested positive for steroids or did they just punish him?? Pete rose is not in the hall of fame for doing something illegal but are they taking away all his records? Nope. Suck it up gsp cheated. He got called out b4 the fight by Penn that’s why they had a close eye on his corner and that’s y he got caught. Is gsp a better fighter then Penn? Yes did gsp have a doubt in his mind bj may best him? Yes and that’s exactly y he needed to use that competitive edge so stop bashing bj and stop sticking up for the cheater. Let in fall into place BC now they have all the footage under investigation of all gsp’s cornering in all his fights

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Damn,now would be a good time for Grissom to come in but…but he’s retired!

    BJ’s camp has every right to ask for an investigation.
    At the very least hopefully it’ll make the NSAC look into make a few rule changes,and be very specific about what can and can’t be done during the fight.
    It’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
    It’s all just part of the growth of the sport.

  • drcman says:

    The point people are making here is that BJ would have lost either way. My question is, why didn’t BJ bring all of this all into the public scene BEFORE the fight. We know he had certain people looking for it, but why not say it to GSP and to us in the Prime Time specials? Why? Because he wanted to add doubt to GSP if he were to win… Probably so he wouldn’t look like such an idiot when all of his crap talking turned out to be a personal reflection of his own character. If he would have brought it out into the open, there is no way that GSP’s corner would have thought to have done that (well whatever truly did happen) and there wouldn’t have been any doubt for BJ fans. For the rest of the world, there is no doubt GSP would have won, with or without the supposed grease… Come on Baby James….. learn a little humility and take your loss.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    “2. 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.”

    That’s the wording of the rule .
    Based on that,I’d say GSP’s camp did nothing wrong.
    I guess they just need to determine how much “excessive” is.
    If Nurse,dabs his fingers,wipes GSP’s face ,then proceeds with the massage,breathing technique, etc. does he rub an excessive amount onto GSP?

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    P.S. Dear Mr. Kizer,
    I am also missing 17 I.Q. points. I had them after round 2, but after several strikes to my head, they fell out. I believe someone from GSP’s corner took them. I also seem to have lost track of several memories: my 4th grade school year, who I took to the prom and where I hid my hide-a-key. I would appreciate the return of this information as well. I also no longer wear 501s, the buttons confuse me. And there are too many letters in places that I see them when I look.
    Rest Begards,
    BP Jenn

  • persian_prince says:

    i hope gsp offers this lamo another chance so we can see his big head getting smashed for the second time, only this time they better call a hearse instead of an ambulance. however, bj would NEVER in a million years get in the octagon with gsp again, because he knows very well what awaits him, lube or no lube.

  • JOe K. says:

    Did they actually refer to Georges St. Pierre as GSP in the legal document?

    If so, hahahahahahahahah!!!!

  • Mocanuck says:

    When the investigation exonerates GSP then BJ will look like a bigger putz than he already does (particularly with the “george… you’re a front runner… a quitter… ad nauseum”). I don’t recall BJ vehemently protesting when his corner quit on his behalf.

  • TS says:

    I had a lot of respect for BJ Penn before all of this. He has always been a favorite fighter of mine. But now all he is doing now is whining. Obviously Pierre is the better fighter. Penn’s other strength is his stand up. Since he wasn’t able to utilize that, does that mean that GSP cheated someway with that too. C’mon, this is getting ridiculous.

    You lost, take it, deal with it, & with class

  • Dana says:

    Wow!! I really thought this was much ado about nothing from the beginning…….but now I think I see why all the fuss.

    Valentino and Kizer had big plans for that vaseline later that night….and to see it just wasted like that……I guess that’s why they got so upset.

  • Rhinoboy says:

    I hope they make GSP fight BJ again so that I can see BJ get his RICH BOY ass kicked again. BJ, SHUT THE F**K UP AND RETIRE ALREADY!!!!!!

  • Justin Bailey says:

    In my opinion B.J. is just looking for a reason 2 pin the loss on, and i agree that NSAC should of protected him better. There was several times i thought the fight should of been called. I don’t believe what they are acussing GSP of is true, the reason he is slipping out of all B.J.’s submission attempts is simply because GSP is on a totally different level than B.J. My suggestions for B.J. is to stay at 155. Im not saying that B.J. isn’t a good athlete and im not questioning B.J.’s ju jitsu, all im saying is GSP is on another level.

  • Lord Faust says:

    “Did they actually refer to Georges St. Pierre as GSP in the legal document? If so, hahahahahahahahah!!!!”

    They also call the Federal Bureau of Investigation the “FBI” in legal documents. They’re called abbreviations…

  • Abullah TB says:

    This whole makes Penn and his camp look petty and juvenile. Penn is no novice. Apparently GSP was slippery but ring savvy Penn couldn’t clue into it.

    I pray for a rematch. GSP was motivated to take Penn down for the second match. Can you imagine how much more motivated he would be if he fought Penn again?

    Walking into the ring before the fight, I thought Penn looked nervous and tense. All the trash talk he was doing on the 24 special is called projecting. It was HIM that came across as weak minded and a quitter.

    I don’t recall him arguing with his corner or getting mad when they threw the towel in.

    I call Karma on Baby J. emphasis on “baby”

  • eric says:

    while i dont think there should be a formal investigation or anything serious like that, i do think that BJ has a valid point.

    gsp’s camp did in fact put vaseline on GSP’s back (though they wiped most of it off later on). This would have no effect on GSP’s repeated takedowns but during the match you CAN see BJ’s legs consistently trying to close guard around GSP, and you CAN see his legs sliding off.

    whether or not this would affect the outcome is beyond me, but BJ would have probably been able to mount a more significant offense without the vaseline.

  • RICK says:

    Gosh, what can i say…BJ Penn. quit while you are ahead. You have already been beaten like a dog. You were made to eat your words as well. Man leave it alone and move on for the love of God!!! Your such an awsome fighter, it hurts me man.

  • Grappo says:

    Fuck you BJ Penn. You suck. How dare you request an investigation into a fight in which you took major damage, and something illegal might have contributed to it. I say again, HOW DARE YOU !

    So, is BJ saying Nurse was really sly and put vaseline on GSP’s legs too…? Thaaat must be why GSP kept passing BJ’s guard…

    Riiiight. Because repeatedly slipping out of high and rubber guard, and softening BJ up with punches because he was so able to effectively do so, had no bearing on his passing BJ’s guard. It’s all connected.

    Not saying vaseline had anything to do with it. But to say it absolutely didn’t is ridiculous.

  • Austin says:


  • kingtcb says:

    Bj lost. we know that get over it. Bj said watch out for gsp greasing up which they did and low and behold they found him cheating what a shock. That’s what this is all about. Bj never said he didn’t get his ass whooped. Bj never said he is trying to argue the loss to get it removed. All Bj is doing is telling the truth about gsp cheating. Sorry all of u feel you need to defend you hero so much because it breakes your hearts he is a cheater. But don’t take it out on Penn and make him look like the cheater I don’t believe his corner was jellying him up

  • Dr. Sardonicus says:

    How do we know GSP would have dominated BJ without the vaseline? Sometimes little things like triangle submissions, for instance, suddenly end fights. Sure, GSP’s win was impressive and Penn appeared totally outmatched. But how can anyone be sure it would have gone the same without the vaseline? Personally, I was somewhat puzzled when BJ’s rubber guard kept slipping. At the time, I chalked it up to GSP’s superior maneuvering and condition. But when I found out about the vaseline, I wasn’t sure anymore.

    One of the purposes of a fight is to put an end to the hype. For this to happen, the fight must be fair….within the rules. Otherwise, nothing is settled. A third fight, -IF- Penn agrees to it, would settle all questions.

  • Orecets says:

    I think greasing George up would have a much larger effect on BJ’s ability to fight off his back, which is something both camps knew he was going to be doing a lot of.

    I think BJ’s loss had more to do with the fact that he looked to be in horrid shape than cheating though. But neither really helped him.

  • Dr. Sardonicus says:

    I agree BJ looked in poor shape and tired badly after the first round. GSP’s fitness was outstanding. His activity level was high until the end. And GSP fought brilliantly. It is tempting to think the final outcome would have been the same with or without the grease but it’s really speculation.

    In truth, we don’t know.


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