Fresh off the heels of controversy surrounding the alleged application of lubrication to the body of Georges St. Pierre during this past Saturday’s UFC 94 main event against B.J. Penn, the UFC has ruled that cornermen will no longer be permitted to handle Vaseline in between rounds.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com Managing Editor David Andrest first heard talk of the possible change during yesterday’s UFC Fight Night 17 weigh-ins and the news has been confirmed by a statement attributed to renowned cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran. The rule change is expected to be effective immediately.
Under the new rules only cutmen who are independent of both corners will be allowed to apply Vaseline to the fighter’s faces in between rounds. Duran did not specify whether or not these rules will apply at all UFC events or just the events that take place in Nevada. However, going by statements made by UFC President Dana White this past week would lead one to assume that these rule changes would be practiced no matter where the UFC holds their events.
The UFC has implemented the new set of rules designed to avoid any more scandals like the one that has been brewing as a result of the St. Pierre vs. Penn fiasco. The controversy stemmed from an formal letter from Penn’s attorney addressed to the Nevada State Athletic Commission requesting that St. Pierre’s corner be invesigated. The Penn camp wants an investigation regarding whether St. Pierre trainers Phil Nurse and Greg Jackson improperly applied Vaseline to the fighter’s back, shoulders, and chest, possibly giving St. Pierre an unfair competitive advantage.
Although NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer has stated that the excess Vaseline was wiped off of St. Pierre after having been called to his attention, Penn still has until Monday to file a formal complaint.