Those looking for fireworks at the Nevada State Athletic
Commission’s hearing on Tuesday to review allegations of greasing
misconduct during the UFC welterweight title bout between Georges St.
Pierre and B.J. Penn might
The bout, which saw St. Pierre triumph after four rounds via a
technical knockout at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, couldn’t be altered to a
“no contest,” nor could any of the alleged figures be suspended on
Tuesday without further proceedings, said NSAC Executive Director
St. Pierre’s two cornermen, Phil Nurse and Greg Jackson, have been
accused of improperly applying Vaseline to the fighter’s shoulders
and back after the one-minute break between the first and second
round of his championship contest on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. A NSAC
official was the first one to bring the questionable behavior to
Kizer’s attention at cageside.
Penn’s camp added fuel to the fire last Monday when the Hawaiian’s
attorney filed a 20-page complaint with the commission requesting
that St. Pierre and “co-conspirator” cornermen Nurse and Jackson
have their licenses suspended or revoked, and that the three be
fined. The complaint followed an inquiry letter submitted by Penn’s
attorneys on Feb. 3, while St. Pierre’s camp responded to the
allegations via letter on Feb. 26.
However, Penn’s recent complaint, which was written in a legal
style similar to a lawsuit, will not serve to stimulate any formal
disciplinary proceedings on Tuesday against the accused trio, said
Kizer said Penn and his representatives have no authority to file a
disciplinary complaint against a fellow combatant per Nevada’s
“That’s my job,” said Kizer. “You can complain to me, small ‘c,’
and then it’s up to me as the executive director whether I’ll file
a disciplinary complaint. I explained that to [Penn’s attorney]
many times and I thought he understood.”
Kizer, who began his own inquiry into the bout’s between-round
behavior the night of the fight, said he hasn’t and doesn’t plan to
file a complaint against St. Pierre and his camp at this time.
Kizer added that Penn’s camp would have to provide hard evidence to
support their allegations that St. Pierre and his camp conspired to
cheat, in order to sway the executive director.
Kizer, who became the NSAC’s executive director in April 2006, has
filed only one other non-drug related complaint against a mixed
martial artist during his tenure. In August 2007, Kizer filed a
disciplinary complaint against Renato “Babalu”
Sobral for not responding to the referee’s instruction to
release a choke during his fight against David Heath at
UFC 74. The Brazilian was subsequently fined his win bonus, which
was $25,000. Sobral was not suspended.
Kizer said a commission member could step down from the judicial
branch of the board and prosecute a case themselves, although that
has rarely taken place.
The five-member commission will receive copies of Penn’s complaint,
as well as the two separate documents previously submitted, said
Kizer, only with respect to what is on the commission’s Tuesday
agenda, which is to review the fight.
Upon review of the documents on Tuesday, Kizer said a commission
member could move to suggest disciplinary action, which would set
the wheels in motion for a disciplinary hearing at a later
Kizer said it his interpretation that Nevada statutes currently
don’t support the commission having the jurisdiction to adjust the
results of the bout to a “no contest” given the specific
circumstances. Kizer said a bout can only be ruled a “no contest”
on four different occasions: the scorecards were added incorrectly,
collusion occurred (where a referee was paid off), the referee
misinterpreted a rule that effected the outcome, or there was the
use of non-approved drugs or steroids.
“The main thing here [for Tuesday’s hearing] is let’s see what
happened in the fight and let’s find out what happened from Phil
[Nurse] and Greg [Jackson], what happened and why it happened, “
said Kizer. “Secondly, let’s figure out a way to make sure it
doesn’t happen again. Now whether it goes beyond that is up to the
commissioners -- and it may or may not.”
Kizer’s expectations are a bit tamer though.
“What I see happening is something along these lines: a very strict
warning to Phil, a warning to everybody that there’s no place for
this, and maybe something [determined] along the lines that every
corner can have one designated Vaseline guy and that guy can not
touch the fighter anywhere else on his body, except for his face,
until the end of the fight,” said Kizer.
The commission meets Tuesday morning in Las Vegas at 9 a.m. PST.