Sunday, February 1, 2009

Vaseline Q and A

Can you explain what exactly happened?

Between the 1st and 2nd rounds, St-Pierre's cornerman, Phil Nurse, rubbed Vaseline on his face then his body. Between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, he did it again and the State Athletic officials freaked out. Between the 3rd and 4th rounds he did it again. Guards then made a horrible attempt to towel St-Pierre off as he stood up.

What's the big deal about some Vaseline being on St-Pierre's shoulders, back, and chest?

It makes it easier to fend off submission attempts and work through your opponent's guard. You could see Penn trying to raise his legs up onto St-Pierre's back multiple times (2nd round especially), but they'd get to St-Pierre's shoulders then slide down to his lower back. St-Pierre isn't posturing up when this happens, so it's not a matter of his movement disrupting things.

The 1st Round was basically even. The 2nd Round doesn't get bad for Penn until about the 3 minute mark. Following Penn's attempts to position his legs high on St-Pierre's back, he loses his guard and gives up side control. Joe Rogan makes a big deal about this because it's extremely rare for anyone to get through Penn's guard. Perhaps Penn's legs were a little slippery following the multiple encounters with St-Pierre's back and shoulders a minute earlier. After this point, Penn begins to take strikes. The fight is never the same. Penn looks out of it in the corner from the strikes and the amount of energy he used to defend from the bottom.

Will the Nevada State Athletic Commission do anything about this?

If the fight was overturned and ruled a No Contest, I'd be shocked. My guess is they will at least fine and suspend St-Pierre's cornerman. It would not be out of the question for him to be banned. This is a serious matter. It happened in one of the biggest fights in years, on Super Bowl weekend, and in Vegas. There are a lot of people who lost money on this fight wondering if the State Athletic Commission did their job correctly.

St-Pierre himself will escape without any official reprimands, although this makes his win a little less sweet.


Mars said...

I agree with the less sweetness of the win, this is gonna hunt him for ever, every time they talk about this fight someone will point the vaseline issue, however, I don't think possible the idea of the commission actually seeing Nurse rubbing vaseline on Gsp and not stopping the fight or at least cleaning him properly, thats just retarded. Gsp explained what happened at mma live right after the fight, I believe him.

PortugueseSensation said...

If the Nevada State Commission was so concerned, why didn't they stop the fight temporarily to rub him down with a towel before allowing him to compete?

PortugueseSensation said...

I just saw MMA Live... I tend to believe GSP too Mars.

Mars said...

It's most likely!

Anonymous said...

Stopping a main event like this would have made it a huge story. Probably a no contest.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad. Watching the short clip I saw I'd say there's no way to prove that GSP was complicit in this. But it looks to me like the cornerman is very deliberately trying to get all the excess vaseline off his hands and onto GSP's shoulder. That guy should be punished to the full extent. GSP should be fined. And what looked like a really great win and accomplishment for GSP is now tarnished. Sad. I had hoped MMA could keep clean of the sort of cheating you see in some boxing matches, but this incident shows how unrealistic that hope was.

Anonymous said...

Courtesy of MMAWeekly:

"The fighters of Greg Jackson’s team are no strangers to ritual inside the Octagon.

First there’s the “Jackson nipple tweak,” a bizarre, if amusing, twist of the nipples his fighters often do before fighting, believed to prepare them for intense battle inside the Octagon.

Now, there appears to be a new ritual in Jackson’s camp, and it’s the source of controversy following Georges St. Pierre’s rout of B.J. Penn at Saturday’s UFC 94.

St. Pierre’s cornermen, including Jackson, were at the center of a storm at UFC 94 after officials from the Nevada State Athletic Commission approached them during the fight to investigate allegations that they were applying Vasoline to St. Pierre in between rounds.

Jackson spoke to on Sunday afternoon and said the misunderstanding arose after Phil Nurse, one of St. Pierre’s cornermen, executed a ritual taught by a member of St. Pierre’s team, a “witch doctor” named Steven Friend.

“So in between rounds, (Friend) had this little drill that you do – and Phil Nurse is the one who knows how to do it – he showed Phil, and this is what Georges wanted, so we did that,” Jackson said. “But this is why we were doing it. He rubbed your back and tapped your chest; I don’t know exactly how it works. But anyways, what that’s supposed to do is get your energy in line, or motivated or whatever. So in between rounds, we had Phil Nurse do that.”

Jackson said St. Pierre has worked with Friend for years, since the French Canadian began training at Jackson’s academy in Albuquerque, N.M. Jackson says Friend has also worked with Matt Hughes and Randy Couture in preparation for their fights. Friend was featured in the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a guest of Hughes.

“The controversy came because Phil Nurse also was putting Vasoline on Georges’ eyebrows,” Jackson elaborated. “In between rounds, you always want to put on Vasoline on (a fighter’s face). So Phil Nurse put all the Vasoline on his face, so his hands might have had a miniscule amount left over from that, when he went around the side and rubbed a little point on his back, and tapped on his chest.

“At that point, somebody in the audience thought we were greasing George down, and ran over and told the commission that we were greasing his body down. The commission came in and said ‘you can’t grease him down,’ which didn’t work. They said ‘you’re putting Vasoline on his back,’ and Phil’s like, ‘oh, there might be a little on my fingers, but it wasn’t intentional at all, and of course they wiped it right off and it was gone, so it wasn’t a factor in the fight at all.”

Indeed, much of the fight played out with St. Pierre on top of Penn, doling out a vicious ground and pound attack. Jackson said after a little explaining, the commission realized what was going on.

“We told our side of the story, we said didn’t mean to put any grease anywhere,” he said. “If we were trying to grease the back we’d be greasing up and down, we would make it count. We wouldn’t do a little tiny spot in the back. The whole thing doesn’t make any sense, so they were fine with it once we gave our explanation. It wasn’t like we were taking gobs of Vasoline and slathering on his back. They didn’t understand the drill that the witch doctor was having us do, and so it looked that way. It didn’t effect the fight at all.”

At this point, no formal complaint has been filed with the NSAC. The popular trainer chalks the whole incident up to fan paranoia.

“The whole greasing thing is pretty ridiculous,” he said. “You can’t grease somebody up. You just couldn’t do it. They check your body before you get into the cage, there’s an inspector right there. In order for us to grease him up, it would be insane. There are cameras everywhere. We don’t cheat. We don’t need to cheat to win.”

Jackson said he wasn’t aware if St. Pierre’s ritual was related to the infamous “nipple tweak,” as the whole business was “out of his domain.” As long as it made his fighter feel better, he was all for it.

“If it works, we’re going to use it,” he said."

haroldh said...

Shaky rebuttal by Jackson

Anonymous said...

GSP will say anything to save himself from looking like a cheater. I dont believe he was the culprit, but he could have told his handlers to stop rubbing it on his body. They're guilty and they should fess up to it. Penn still was outclassed, but without vaseline, who knows what those defensive attempts by Penn would've done?