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Ready to Defend?

Written by Tom Ngo
March 17th, 2009
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Greg Jackson currently trains two UFC champions, however today the MMA guru will be defending something much more valuable than a title belt, his reputation is at stake as he presents his case in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“Just say what I’ve always said, basically,” Jackson said of his plans. “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.”

Jackson is looking to strengthen his case to the NSAC regarding the alleged greasing incident at UFC 94.  They already submitted a 17-page response to Penn’s request for the Commission to conduct a “comprehensive investigation” on the matter.

“It is what it is,” Jackson matter-of-factly said. “You can’t really regret something you didn’t do.”

BJ Penn and his camp filed a formal complaint with the Commission last Wednesday, claiming that Georges St-Pierre’s cornermen, namely Muay Thai coach Phil Nurse, applied Vaseline to his body during the intermissions before the 2nd, 3rd and 4thRounds.

Although Commission agents were alerted prior to the fight regarding the potential of greasing in GSP’s corner, even though officials were able to wipe the welterweight champion down with towels before the 3rd and 4thRound began, Penn feels that it still played a significant role in the outcome of the fight.

“I really like BJ Penn. I think he’s an amazing fighter,” Jackson said about Penn’s right to petition the NSAC. “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.”

Penn’s complaint requests for the Commission to hold a formal hearing seeking a laundry list of actions, including fines to St-Pierre, head trainer Greg Jackson, Muay Thai coach Phil Nurse, and unnamed parties for up to $250,000, suspend the licenses of GSP, Jackson, Nurse, as well as the unnamed co-conspirators, change the result of the bout to a “No Contest,” and require St-Pierre to undergo a pre-bout shower before future fights to make sure no illegal substances exist on his body.

It is highly unlikely that the NSAC would overturn the convincing win to a No Contest, however if Jackson can’t smooth-talk the Commission, it is possible, however additional hearings which would include the two fighters, would have to be held.

However, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer doesn’t feel that it will be necessary.

“I think we have everything we need to (reach a conclusion),” Kizer said. “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.”

It has been 45 days since GSP defeated Penn, and Jackson is grateful that he can finally put this issue behind him, and hopeful that things will end in his favor.

“The main thing here [for today’s hearing] is let’s see what happened in the fight and let’s find out what happened from Phil [Nurse] and Greg [Jackson], what happened and why it happened,” Kizer added. “Secondly, let’s figure out a way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Now whether it goes beyond that is up to the commissioners — and it may or may not.”

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