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B.J. Penn requests "comprehensive investigation" of St-Pierre

February 4, 2009 | 10:30 pm

B.J. Penn, bottom, takes a left from Georges St-Pierre.

B.J. Penn was defeated by Georges St-Pierre in their Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title fight Saturday, but the fighter wants the Nevada State Athletic Commission to launch a "comprehensive investigation and review of the activities involving and relating to [St-Pierre] prior to and during the bout."

The demand came in a letter that  Penn's attorney wrote to Keith Kizer, the Nevada commission's executive director, on Wednesday.

During the fight, Penn had complained to a Nevada inspector that St-Pierre was too slippery to hold. After two rounds, state officials ordered St-Pierre's corner to wipe down their fighter's back with a towel to remove what appeared to be petroleum jelly.

During the fight, St-Pierre kept the lightweight champion Penn from using his specialty (Brazilian jiujitsu) to gain an advantage with a wrestling-style attack. St-Pierre, meanwhile, pounded Penn with his fists and elbows, prompting a ringside doctor to stop the fight before the fifth round started.

"It is necessary that an environment exists without any illegally applied lubricants, oils or other substances that cause or result in slippery surfaces on the combatants," Penn's attorney, Raffi A. Nahabedian, wrote in a three-page letter to Kizer. "First, such products are illegal ... Second, such activities bring disrepute to the sport of MMA ..."

"By lubricating GSP's body, a highly slippery surface was created that completely neutralized an innocent participant's abilities and strategy ... Mr. Penn's ... Brazilian jiujitsu [was] rendered useless ... This illegal situation made it impossible for Mr. Penn to defend himself and unfairly exposed Mr. Penn to GSP's 'ground and pound' strategy."

Nahabedian's letter said that Penn was put in a "life-threatening and career-ending environment" that the commission was supposed to prevent.

"All Mr. Penn wanted to have is a fair and just bout and he continues to seek a fair and just encounter against Georges St-Pierre," Nahabedian wrote.

Neither Penn nor St-Pierre was immediately available to comment on the letter. But Penn's attorney said that a formal complaint will be made to the commission by Tuesday.

Kizer, the Nevada commission executive, was not immediately available to comment on the letter.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: B.J. Penn, bottom, takes a left from Georges St-Pierre during their UFC welterweight mixed martial art title bout on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press