In a recent letter to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, trainers and coaches for UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre stepped up to refute claims by B.J. Penn and his camp about the improper application of Vaseline during their 170-pound divisional title fight in January.
Beyond the statements sent to the commission from Greg Jackson, Phil Nurse, John Danahar, and Steven Friend, the collective also made suggestions to help prevent any situation like this from happening in the future, recommending minor changes made to how fighters are checked and Vaseline applied before the fight and in between rounds.
In the letter to the commission, Camp St. Pierre commends the commission for rules that create “a safe and fair environment for mixed martial arts combatants,” but because of the current controversy, they believe there are changes that could be made to improve conditions.
The statement suggests continuing the current pre-fight “touch test” to detect both the presence of water and petroleum based lubricants that could have been applied to the fighter’s body hours before the bout.
In addition to that rule, they believe a pre-fight rubdown, excluding the face and gloves of the fighter, with a towel containing alcohol or another commission approved solvent to guarantee any lubricants applied before the fight are removed.
The team also mentions the possibility of rubbing the fighters down between rounds with a dry towel to remove any Vaseline applied that may have “migrated” to the fighter’s body during the bout.
The last part of the proposed changes goes along with a rule that was implemented by the Florida State Boxing Commission during the UFC’s recent trip to Tampa for a Fight Night event. Only licensed cutmen were allowed to apply the Vaseline to the fighter’s faces before or during the bout.
The letter clearly states that the team involved with Georges St. Pierre does not want the controversy swirling around the fight with B.J. Penn to tarnish his reputation as one of the best fighters in the world, and the changes could help to prevent any situations like that from arising again.