Marc Ratner, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, clarified the rule change regarding the application of Vaseline to fighters. It was reported over the weekend that the UFC would now only allow impartial cutmen to apply the greasing agent to fighters’ faces before each fight and in between rounds. Ratner states that is not the case.
“It’s not the UFC, it’s the commission that will decide exactly what can be done,” Ratner told MMAWeekly.com. “Some of that stuff will be brought up at the [American Boxing Commission] meetings with all the commissions, but there has been no official UFC policy.”
World renowned cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran had confirmed with MMAJunkie.com this past Saturday that the UFC’s rule change will be in effect immediately, however Ratner claims that Stitch misunderstood.
“We’re going to leave it up to each commission, obviously. We’re going to be very vigilant and we’re going to let all the fighters know what we expect, which we’ve always done. So nothing really has changed,” he said. “The Nevada commission, they’ll do whatever disciplinary action or hearings they want, and we want a level playing field, it’s as simple as that.”
The urgency for the change stems from the controversy surrounding the historical bout between UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn at UFC 94.
Through the request of Penn and his camp, the NSAC is currently investigating whether or not the cornermen of GSP illegally applied Vaseline to the shoulders, back and chest of the 170-pound champ before the start of the 2nd, 3rd and 4thRounds.
The Commission was alerted immediately about the alleged illegal activity before the start of the 2ndRound, however the Commission was unable to wipe off St-Pierre before the bell sounded. They did thoroughly wipe him down before the start of both the 3rd and 4thRounds.