At UFC 158, Georges St-Pierre dominated Nick Diaz en route to a unanimous decision victory to retain his UFC welterweight championship.
The victory was impressive, however there has been some criticism this week due to a video which was released regarding the Quebec Athletic Commission not counting the decimal point at the weigh-ins. In the video, UFC employee Michael Mersh is caught just minutes before the weigh-ins telling Diaz that the decimal point would not count when weighing in. This of course goes against the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts which state that in a championship match, there is no one point allowance.
Jonathan Tweedale, who is legal counsel for Nick Diaz, has taken issue with the Quebec Athletic Commission for their stance on the weigh-ins and also the fact that they feel the commission failed to properly supervise St-Pierre’s post-fight drug test.
Below is text of Tweedale’s statement.
The Quebec Commission’s statement is a disappointing admission that the March 16 event was not conducted under the rules applicable to a UFC title fight – or under the rules the fighters contractually agreed to, upon which rules Mr. Diaz was entitled to rely under his bout agreement.
Section 168 of the Regulation respecting combat sports provides that the maximum weight that a fighter must achieve at the official weigh-in shall be determined in advance by contract – and if the fighter does not make the contracted weight – in this case 170 pounds – then 20% of his purse or “the contestant’s remuneration” will be deducted and paid to his opponent (subsections (7) and (8)).
The contracted weight for this fight was 170 pounds. 170.9 is not 170, anywhere in the world, for a title fight. There is no question what “170 pounds” means, in the bout agreement, as a matter of contractual interpretation.
The Quebec Commission deliberately relaxed the rule in this case and, by its own admission, allowed their home-town fighter to “make weight” even if he weighed more than the contracted weight.
The Commission’s statement that their Regulation “does not take decimals into account” is bizarre and untrue. Section 74 of the Regulation provides that at an official weigh-in, “[t]he scale shall have graduated readings at each 100 g (3.6 oz) and shall be certified by Measurement Canada.” There would be no need to have graduated readings at each 100 g if the Commission “does not take decimals into account”.
Furthermore, section 77 of the Regulation provides: “At an official weigh-in, no time shall be granted to a contestant to enable him to increase or decrease his weight.” It appears that here too, the Commission was prepared to relax this rule at the last minute in favour of Mr. St-Pierre.
Further serious irregularities including, inter alia, the Quebec Commission’s failure to supervise fighters’ provision of samples in connection with testing for Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods (under sections 71.1 to 71.6 of the Regulation), will be set out in an official complaint that will be filed imminently.
In the circumstances, Mr. St-Pierre remains legally and ethically obligated to fight Mr. Diaz at 170 pounds or else vacate the belt in favor of those prepared to fight at welterweight.
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