(Sotiropoulos using his knee and ankle supports to allow Joe Stevenson to get a better grip on his leg.)
A popular topic of debate surrounding next weekend’s UFC 123 event in Auburn Hills, Michigan has focused on the legality of the in-Octagon apparel worn by one of the card’s participants.
Fans and pundits alike seem split about whether or not the compression short-ankle and knee support combination worn by lightweight George Sotiropoulos are legal under the Unified Rules of mixed martial arts.
Even G-Sot’s opponent, Joe Lauzon has labeled the Australian fighter a cheater because of his in-Octagon apparel.
"I don’t see how you can wear your regular fight shorts, compression shorts under that that go to your knee, then wear knee pads on both sides that go halfway down your leg, then ankle supports that go halfway up your leg and down to your toes," Lauzon explained to Ariel Helwani during a recent episode of MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour. "I don’t know what the deal is with the commission, if he’ll be allowed to wear those or not, but we’re prepared for him either way. I don’t really understand how he gets away with them. We’re definitely going to look into it a little bit."
(G-Sot chose to forgo wearing his knee braces at UFC 116 in July after opponent Kurt Pellegrino called him a cheater for wearing them.)
Lauzon may be wasting his time.
According to reputable officials we conferred with from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and New Jersey State Athletic Control Board – two of the main regulatory bodies responsible for helping develop the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts as we know them today – Sotiropoulos’s choice of legwear is perfectly legal under their jurisdictions, but ultimately, the final call goes to the commission overseeing each event.