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NSAC seeks closure in Penn vs. St. Pierre case at Tuesday meeting | MMAjunkie.com
The six weeks that have passed since UFC welterweight title holder Georges St. Pierre earned a TKO win over lightweight champ B.J. Penn at UFC 94 have been filled with investigation requests, formal complaints, witch-doctor technique explanation and multimedia presentations surrounding the alleged improper use of Vaseline by the victor. |
Tuesday morning, the Nevada State Athletic Commission will seek to put a formal end to the proceedings.
"I think we have everything we need to (reach a conclusion)," NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com). "Both camps sent in voluminous documents. We have the video. It happened right in front of us. I don't know what we don't have that we would need. It's almost been two months."
While Penn and his attorney Raffi Nahabedian have been quite vocal about their intentions to challenge the actions of St. Pierre's team since the bout was first contested, the formal complaint wasn't filed with the NSAC until just a week ago.
In the complaint, Penn said he was seeking to declare St. Pierre's victory in the Jan. 31 fight a "no contest," that the NSAC suspend the licenses of St. Pierre, trainer Greg Jackson and cornerman Phil Nurse and that a $250,000 fine to be levied against the trio.
Kizer said he's looking to forward to putting the weeks of debate to rest.
"I know this stuff has been analyzed over and over again on the internet," Kizer said. "It's been five or six weeks, and you've got two different sides.
"You've got the [St. Pierre] fans that are like, 'Hey, what's the big deal? This wouldn't have made any difference.' But I don't know how you would prove that it didn't make a difference.
"On the flip side you've got the [Penn] fans that say, 'This is the worst thing ever. Suspend Georges.' But I'm not sure how you prove that it did make a difference, either. I'm not sure how you prove it either way.
"But it's good that these fighters are such great fighters that they have such fanatical fans, I guess."
Kizer, who as Executive Director doesn't have a vote in the commission's final decision, said that overturning the result of the bout is a possibility, but that the recorded outcome of the bout is not the group's primary concern.
"[Overturning the bout] is really not what it's about, but anything is possible, I guess," Kizer said. "I guess the first thing is if there's even a basis to overturn the decision even if the commission wanted to -- is there a legal basis?
"The commission isn't prohibited from considering that issue. That's not why it's on the agenda, but they can consider anything with respect to that bout."
Instead, the NSAC will be looking to determine if the actions of St. Pierre's corner, in which Nurse was clearly seen massaging his fighter's back after applying petroleum jelly to his hands to rub St. Pierre's face between rounds, are something that require a change to current regulations.
"It's about what happened that night, why it happened that night, and how do we make sure it doesn't happen again," Kizer said. "It's kind of both giving Greg and Phil an opportunity to explain what happened that night and also finding out whether there's a way to make things even easier."
Kizer said he expects representatives from both camps to appear at the meeting, but isn't sure if the fighters themselves will be on hand. Kizer also said that Nurse and Jackson were the only two people required to attend.
"Both sides have told me they plan to (be at the meetings in person)," Kizer said. "I don't know if the fighters will or not, but both camps have informed me that they're going to at least have some people here, if not the fighters.
"The only two people I said needed to be here were Phil and Greg. But anyone else affiliated with the fight who wants to come and speak is more than welcome."
Regardless of what the NSAC's ultimate decision entails, Kizer said he hopes the commission's decision is finalized on Tuesday so that any new policies can be instituted before Nevada hosts another MMA event.
"Basically, we had some controversy, we had some issues that perhaps we might want to change our procedure on," Kizer said. "So we had to put it on the agenda through the chairman for the commission to discuss, and it's up to the five of them. They make the policy here that I enforce. So it's up to them to decide what, if any, changes they want to make going forward with how Vaseline is handled in the corner.
"First and foremost we do want to make sure these fights are fought as fairly as possible and as safely as possible. Hopefully we get things resolved before our next MMA bout... so if there does need to be a change we can put it in place by then."
John Morgan is the lead staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com.
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