Penn's mother urges NSAC to punish St. Pierre "to fullest extent of authority"
by John Morgan on Mar 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm ET
LAS VEGAS - The weeks that have followed the controversial UFC 94 bout between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn have been filled with many unusual and interesting circumstances.
At Tuesday's Nevada State Athletic Commission review of the bout, yet another unique story was brought to "Greasegate."
Lorraine Shin, the mother of UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, addressed the commission and charged them with failing to properly protect her son in the course of the Jan. 31 contest.
The contents of Shin's address to the NSAC are included below:
Shin was briefly interrupted by NSAC Chairman Bill Brady, who assured her that the commission was aware of the issue at hand.
"My name is Lorraine Shin, and I am the mother of Jay Dee Penn, also known as B.J. Penn. I have been involved in the MMA arena as a producer for years.
"I have and continue to support my four sons who have earned their black belt status in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I have also had the opportunity of attending many Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments as well as MMA fight events in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, England and the U.S. Mainland. I am no stranger to the MMA fight world.
"During the past 12 years my sons operate and are instructors in the Penn Fitness and Training Center in Hawaii, which I have been very instrumental in its daily operations. My son, Jay Dee Penn, has also produced MMA events under the name of Rumble on the Rock in Hawaii and Guam, and later merged with EliteXC. As the financial adviser for the family, it was imperative for me to understand the rules and regulations governing MMA events.
"On Jan. 31, 2009, I was present at the UFC 94 event held at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The fighters in the main event were B.J. Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title.
"I was sitting in the front row, near the entrance to the octagon cage, and clearly understood the seriousness of this fight that had been successfully marketed on prime time television.
"During the rounds that followed, I was shocked to see that B.J. appeared to be helpless, as well as defenseless in his attempts to grasp and hold Georges St. Pierre while on the ground. I silently kept screaming and asking myself, 'What is wrong? Why can't B.J. defend himself?'
"I was horrified with fear. My son was going to be seriously hurt because he could not defend himself.
"The match ended in the fourth round, and B.J. Penn lost by TKO when his corner stopped the fight. After the fight was over, I was led immediately to B.J.'s locker room. And knowing that B.J. was seriously hurt, when I reached the locker I heard loud voices yelling that GSP and his cornermen were caught by the Nevada (State) Athletic Commission for applying Vaseline on his body during the rounds and in violation of the rules.
"Although still in shock and fearful for my son, it then made sense to me why B.J. couldn't defend himself. Georges St. Pierre used a greasy substance on his body, therefore giving St. Pierre an unfair advantage over my son, B.J. Penn.
"While in the locker room, I couldn't understand why the fight was not stopped by the UFC's referee or the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the unfair advantage by St. Pierre and his cornerman after they realized the foul. How could this happen? Why was it allowed?
"There are probably several reasons, but the responsibility falls on the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"The Nevada State Athletic Commission failed in their duties by not immediately notifying the Penn corner of the unfair use of greasing and Vaseline applied on St. Pierre, by not allowing the Vaseline to be removed properly off of St. Pierre, and by not taking the necessary procedures to protect my son from being seriously injured or killed.
"A rushed, quick wipe of St. Pierre's body did not properly remove the grease from the head, neck, chest, shoulders and back. It is the commissioners' responsibility to always protect the fighter from the unfair practices by others under the rules that govern MMA events in Nevada."
"I apologize for interrupting you," Brady said. "We're aware of what your feelings are on this. That's what we're having this hearing for, is to take all of this under advisement."
Polite in the address, Brady allowed Shin to continue when she assured she was almost finished with her statement. The remainder of the statement is included below:
Brady tried to keep the mood light with his casual response following the address.
"It is officially documented that St. Pierre's team did in fact apply Vaseline to St. Pierre's body. It is documented that St. Pierre did have an unfair advantage against Penn because of greasing. The Nevada State Athletic Commission needs to do the right thing and find Georges St. Pierre and all others responsible for these unfair practices and punish them to the fullest extent of their authority.
"St. Pierre is the responsible person for the actions of his cornerman and others involved. This can not be ignored by the Nevada (State) Athletic Commission."
"B.J., your mother loves you," Brady said before addressing Shin. "We appreciate your statements, and we understand your feelings."
Shin was quick to add one final remark while addressing the commission.
"It's not just for my son," Shin said. "It's to do the right thing. You need to do the right thing."
Shin's statement was followed by the morning's final speaker, Steve Pacitti. A lawyer representing St. Pierre, Pacitti's statement was short and direct.
"The simple fact is that there was nothing done that was explained that would violate the existing rules of the commission," Pacitti said. "If there was an advantage, it was merely Georges size' and skill on that night."
After the conclusion of the meeting, Brady addressed Penn directly just before speaking with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"Apologize to your mother that I had to cut her short," Brady said to Penn. "I have a great deal of respect for her.
"We'll see where this goes. You come back soon, alright. Las Vegas wants you here, and so does the commission."