The sweat had not yet dried when accusations began to fly against
welterweight champion Georges
St. Pierre after his lopsided victory against B.J. Penn in
the UFC 94 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in
Not long after his win, St. Pierre and his corner, including
trainer Greg Jackson, came under fire for allegedly using a
“greasing” agent between rounds. Nevada State Athletic Commission
Executive Director Keith Kizer on Monday confirmed improprieties
had occurred in the champion’s corner after the first and second
“After the first round, one of my inspectors came to me and told me
he thought he saw one of the cornermen -- I believe it was Phil
Nurse … after putting Vaseline on [St. Pierre’s] face, he saw him
rub his shoulders, and it appeared as though he might not have
wiped off his hands,” Kizer said. “After the second round, we
observed Mr. Jackson putting Vaseline on Mr. St. Pierre’s face and
then putting his hand on his back.”
At that point, Kizer attempted to get Jackson’s attention from
outside the cage.
“I don’t think he heard me because of all the noise in the arena,
so I immediately walked into the Octagon myself -- I’ve probably
done that two other times in my career -- and told him to take his
hand off Mr. St. Pierre’s back,” he said. “We took a towel and
wiped off his back. After the third round, we went in again and
made sure his back and shoulders were wiped off to ensure a level
Kizer informed Penn’s camp of the situation after the bout ended.
Penn’s manager and brother, J.D., told Sherdog.com on Sunday that
the Hawaiian’s camp planned to file a complaint with the NSAC, but,
as of Monday afternoon, Kizer had not heard from Penn’s
representatives. Penn has 10 days to file.
Nevertheless, Kizer admonished Jackson and Nurse after the
“I told them I was disappointed and that they may have tainted Mr.
St. Pierre’s victory,” he said. “I told them if it happens again,
it will probably be the last time they work a corner in Nevada.
Basically, they said, ‘Look, we’re sorry. We’re not trying to do
anything. It was an accident.’ Whether it was intentional or not, I
don’t know. It was improper.”
According to St. Pierre’s trainer, Greg Jackson, the controversy
surrounding the bout has been blown out of proportion. Jackson
addressed the accusations on the of the Savage Dog Show on
the Sherdog Radio Network.
“The controversy came because people didn’t know what they were
looking at,” he said. “Steve Friend, ‘The Witch Doctor,’ he works
with a ton of these guys, and he has this energy stuff [he does].
In between rounds, Phil [Nurse] put Vaseline on Georges’ head; then
he’s supposed to reach around and rub something or tap something …
I don’t know how it exactly works. On the outside, it looks like,
‘Why is he rubbing his back?’ And you don’t know why. ‘Oh, he’s
putting Vaseline on. That’s got to be it.’”
St. Pierre punished Penn for four rounds, as he took him down
numerous times and passed his guard with unthinkable ease. By the
end of the fourth -- after Penn had absorbed a lethal dose of
ground-and-pound -- the Hawaiian’s corner motioned to the cage-side
doctor to stop the fight.
“On B.J.’s side, you just got beat, and you got beat pretty well,”
Jackson said. “You gotta have something to hold onto. There’s gotta
be a reason I got beat. They have to hold onto something, and I
think they’re holding onto this.”
Jackson -- who also trains UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad
Evans -- vehemently denies any intentional wrongdoing took
place in the corner in between rounds.
“We certainly don’t need to cheat to win,” he said. “If we were
going to put Vaseline on his back, it wouldn’t be like a tapping
little thing. We’d take some Vaseline and make it count, you know
what I mean? We don’t do that. We don’t cheat.
“It’s really a non-issue to me because there are cameras
everywhere; there are inspectors everywhere,” he continued. “I’m
not the smartest guy, but I’m not a moron. I wouldn’t grease
someone between rounds.”
One of the sport’s most visible and respected trainers, Jackson
thinks St. Pierre’s performance may have worked against him in
terms of giving the controversy legs. No one had ever defeated Penn
so soundly before.
“When you’ve got a guy as good as Georges and people are looking,
like, ‘How can this guy be so good?’ People are going to find
controversy somewhere at some point,” Jackson said. “Georges was,
like, ‘What are you talking about? That’s ridiculous. I worked
really hard.’ It’s nice for us because we know we didn’t cheat. We
know what happened that night. To me, it’s not really a big deal
when you have the truth on your side.”
Not surprisingly, the Jackson’s Submission Fighting founder
indicated the otherworldly St. Pierre would invite a third fight
with Penn if there was doubt about the legitimacy of his
“I’m sure he wouldn’t mind fighting B.J. a third time if they’re
that concerned about it,” Jackson said. “I’m sure everybody would
make a lot of money, and we’d certainly welcome that fight
Jackson expects the furor surrounding their rematch to die down
“There’s not a lot of validity to it,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t a
close fight where people were like, ‘Oh, if it wasn’t for all the
cheating they did …’ I think it will just blow over once people
realize what the truth was.”
Kizer was uncertain as to whether or not the incidents impacted the
match. The first time St. Pierre and Penn met, the outcome was far
less one-sided, as the French Canadian took a split decision at UFC
58 in 2006.
“It’s hard to tell,” he said. “I don’t think it takes away the
victory, but I think it takes away from the victory. You’ve got to
be better than that.”