Georges St. Pierre, B.J. Penn and their camps have gone back and forth a bit through the press after the two UFC champions met at UFC 94 late last month.
St. Pierre dominated the match up which became embroiled in controversy shortly thereafter upon allegations of excessive greasing levied by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Penn’s camp itself.
St. Pierre’s camp, including head cornerman Greg Jackson, dismissed the allegations as excuses and stated that any excess Vaseline or grease used on St. Pierre’s back was purely coincidental. St. Pierre went on to challenge Penn, stating that if he was willing to fight Penn again and that the result would be the same.
“I never cheated in my life,” St. Pierre told Sherdog Radio. “Lets go do a rematch with B.J. Penn. We’re going to do it this summer. St. Pierre-Penn III and this time we’ll wear a rash guard. I guarantee you the result will be the same or even worse for him.”
B.J. Penn responded recently with the following statement, released on his official website BJPenn.com:
For the past several days I have been reading statements made by St. Pierre and Greg Jackson about our fight on January 31. St. Pierre claims that he is “not a cheater” and that he and Greg Jackson will have “no problem with a rematch in the summer of 2009.” To the untrained eye the grease might not look like much, but every grappler knows the effect that it has. Being able to apply your submissions and sweeps or just being able to hold on to your opponent to defend yourself from being hit is absolutely critical! There is a reason why you are not allowed to put grease anywhere on your body except for the area around your eyes. Because of the grease applied to St.Pierre’s Body the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer has stated that the Penn-St. Pierre fight “definitely wasn’t fair”. I hereby accept George St. Pierre and Greg Jackson’s challenge for a fight in the summer 2009. Let’s call Dana now and set it up.
– BJ Penn
It goes without saying that a third match up between the two would be a PPV draw for the organization, but will Dana White and the UFC be willing to put two belts on hold again until the middle of this year?
Thiago Alves and Kenny Florian have both fought hard and earned their shots at the welterweight and lightweight titles respectively and given the lopsided nature of the last Penn-St.Pierre affair a rematch may not seem warranted, however, if the NSAC finds that the fight was indeed unfair and there is substance to the greasing allegations, then Penn deserves the chance to face St. Pierre on a level playing field. If not, then Penn needs to move on and try to secure his legacy as the greatest lightweight fighter of his generation.