by Tom Hamliin – MMAWeekly.com
World-renowned trainer Greg Jackson is Vegas-bound on Tuesday, ready to make his case to the Nevada State Athletic Commission when they review the controversial fight between St. Pierre vs. Penn at UFC 94.
The Jan. 31 main event turned into a lightning rod for debate when commission officials caught St. Pierre cornerman Phil Nurse applying Vaseline to the welterweight champion’s chest and back during the fight. Nurse had the lubricant on his hands when he performed a procedure culled from holistic doctor Steven Friend, affectionately called the “witch doctor” by Jackson when the controversy broke out.
Since then, the two camps have dissected the intent of Nurse’s behavior in documents submitted to the NSAC. Last week, Penn made his grievances formal, filing a twenty-page document with the commission that outlined his allegations on the incident, including new points on St. Pierre’s actions before the fight.
The March 17 meeting promises no resolution to the matter, but it will be the first public review of the polarizing situation.
Jackson hasn’t been summoned to speak by St. Pierre or his representatives – though St. Pierre’s camp plans on giving a “presentation” for the committee – but he’s going anyway. As a trainer to MMA stars, reputation is everything, and he intends on defending his camp.
“Just say what I’ve always said, basically,” he told MMAWeekly.com of his plan. “There was no intent there to cheat. I’ve never cheated on a fight in my life.
“I work really hard. I’m not too smart, so I’ve really got to work hard at it. Put game plans together, get these guys prepared, work with these other coaches. Do all this other stuff, and just to say I’m going to throw all that out the window and grease somebody is not right.”
The trainer still doesn’t have any ill will towards Penn, despite accusations levied at Jackson, Nurse, and St. Pierre that they conspired to “grease” St. Pierre in the much-hyped rematch.
“I really like BJ Penn, I think he’s an amazing fighter,” Jackson continued. “I’m sorry it’s come to a formal complaint, but I’ll just defend myself the way I will. But I have nothing against BJ or his camp.”
Looking back at the incident, Jackson says he doesn’t have any regrets about what happened that night.
“It is what it is,” he said. “You can’t really regret something you didn’t do.”
He will, however, do his part to speak his truth when the regulatory body meets.