You might have missed it during the UFC 158 post-fight press conference, but midway through Nick Diaz’s clusterfuck of a rant aimed at the UFC, wrestlers, his teammates, Stephen Hawking’s wormhole theory, etc., the Stockton native made note that there was something unusual about Georges St. Pierre’s hand wraps as well. Granted, Diaz also stated that GSP was on steroids, but while that accusation would require a little more, you know, evidence before anyone starts buying into it, the idea that St. Pierre and the Jackson camp might be stretching the rules in regards to his hand wraps didn’t seem that far outside the realm of possibility given the champ/camp’s history with greasing allegations.
It all started when fellow Team Gracie/UFC fighter Jake Shields sent out a vague, accusatory tweet (Author’s Note: Truly a Team Gracie member, amiright?) aimed at GSP in the moments leading up to the fight:
I just checked GSP’s gloves and the wrap looked shady…now commission won’t let me back. Been trying to for the past 30 minutes…. Not saying he’s cheating but wtf?!
Things only got more tense once Team Cesar Gracie demanded to inspect St. Pierre’s wraps after he had already been gloved up. Thankfully, Dana White was able to make sense of the whole situation during the UFC 158 media scrum.
But first a little background info: In MMA, it is customary for a representative from each fighter’s team to sit in on the hand wrapping of the other. A member of the governing athletic commission is present during the tape job as well.
Now, back to DW, who explained the whole mess later in the evening (Via 5thRound):
So what happened was, Jake Shields was the one who sat in on the hand wrap. After they wrap [St-Pierre's] hands, Jake Shields said, ‘Cool, see you later.’ And then they came back later and said they wanted another guy to look at the hand wraps and the commission said, ‘You already did the hand wraps. He’s gloved up. It’s over.
So then they started to freak out. But everything was taken care of. Then as soon as the fight was over, both hand wraps were cut off, put into bags and given to the commission.
St. Pierre, ever the class act, chalked up the freak out to a bit of last-minute head games on Diaz’s part:
Just before the fight, they send some guy to check my hand wrap. It was going back and forth, they were yelling in my locker room. Everything was about head games.
It was crazy. First time someone played a lot of head games like this with me.
St. Pierre’s trainer, Firas Zahabi, was not so forgiving:
Then it will be checking his shorts, then, what else, we’re warming up here, you don’t have infinite time to warm up. We’re going to go through a routine, we’re not going to be interrupted, the commission came in and said ‘please do check it again.’ The referee came in and checked the gloves and I said ‘you know what, bring NASA, if someone from the NASA office is out there, bring them in and let them check anybody who wants to check anything, you can have the hand wraps after the fight. You can have the gloves, send them to any laboratory you want, bring VADA in here right after, before, during, after.’ But I don’t want them to call the shots. I don’t want them to tell me when we’re warming up and when we’re not warming up.
So there you have it, the final Nick Diaz-related complaint that we will publish for at least eight hours. I’d tell you to tune in for more, but who am I kidding? Us MMA fans are all sheep anyway, sheep who will continue eating up this kind of news like it’s pasturage until Diaz tells us otherwise. Now can we just find a way to get Diaz and Chael Sonnen in the same room and record it for scientific purposes?