When BJ Penn said “to the death” before his UFC 94 welterweight championship bout against Georges St. Pierre, we thought he meant fight to the death, not litigate to the death. While the rest of the MMA world has long since lost interest in Penn’s claim that GSP enjoyed a vaseline-related advantage during their match in January, Penn himself is working to get the issue moved from Nevada State Athletic Commission hearings to a Nevada court.
During a NSAC hearing on Wednesday, the commission acknowledged receipt of four documents submitted by Penn’s attorney Raffi Nahabedian and his mother Lorraine Shin — among them a request for a full accounting of the evidence that Keith Kizer used in deciding not to file a formal complaint with the commission against Georges St. Pierre, and (this one’s important) a request for a definitive statement on the commission’s decision regarding disciplinary action and/or sanctions to be taken against St. Pierre and his cornermen, Greg Jackson and Phil Nurse.
From an MMA Junkie report:
While addressing the NSAC, Penn’s attorney appeared anxious to exhaust all avenues of action from the commission in order to take his complaint to a different venue.
“This whole process, and I’ve indicated this to you before, is relating to the administrative procedures – that we have to exhaust administrative procedures for us to move forward with this issue,” Nahabedian said. “I need to have the commission make a definitive statement as to their decision, and I would request that the commission provide us with information relating to these motions represented because they are directed to the commission. They’re not directed to anybody else.”
Bloody Elbow puts the situation in in layman’s terms:
In order to bring this issue into a Nevada court, Penn must exhaust all administrative remedies. His lawyer is trying to urge a swift judgment that he knows will be adverse so he can take the next step and bring suit. NSAC for its part appears to be in no hurry to take any action…Maybe he’s trying to bring down St. Pierre out of spite, or maybe he’s trying to get himself a rematch with St. Pierre. The latter sounds a bit conspiratorial, but it would be an interesting strategy to file suit and then dropping it upon St. Pierre agreeing to fight him again.
Meaning, he’d try to bleed GSP out in court until he gets what he wants, just like the UFC did to Randy Couture last year. Yes, that sounds insane, but Penn seems to have lost his marbles over his loss to St-Pierre, and I wouldn’t put anything past him at this point; he’s firmly lodged in the “bargaining” phase, so to speak. But at least he has his mom to help out with court appearances. After all, Penn does have a pretty big fight in August to worry about, and he needs to be more focused on the future than the past.