And by learning I mean to ask if he made the same mistakes as one Georges St. Pierre did in his fight against BJ Penn.
It would appear that the current middleweight champion, upon entering the cage, wiped vaseline from his face onto other parts of his body. The issue was first brought to light by SI writer, Josh Gross, who was apologetic to readers for what his eyes had seen.
12:18 a.m.: The champion enters the cage after a coat of Vaseline is slathered on his face. I’m sorry to say this, but it was pretty obvious that Silva took his hands, wiped down his face and rubbed his chest and arms. Something to remember if Silva easily, and repeatedly, slips out of Leites’ grasp.
Upon hearing these allegations from fans and witnesses of the situation after the dust had settled on Silva’s lackluster performance, manager Ed Soares had this to say.
How much Vaseline can they put on someone’s eyebrows that’s going to make a difference? Where’s he going to wipe it? If he wasn’t wiping it on his shorts, where would he wipe it? It wasn’t like he was rubbing it in. He just took it off. We didn’t put it on. It was [the cutman] that put it on.
After all of the controversy with GSP on January 31st, Silva should’ve known better, but it’s my opinion that he didn’t knowingly apply the vaseline to his body. In fact, that is probably the last thing that was on the champion’s mind before defending his belt on Saturday night. As with the St. Pierre situation, however, it did happen and there is video evidence that it did occur. It should be quite interesting to see how this continuing story will be dealt with in the future simply for the fact that competitors in future fights might knowingly do what Silva did on Saturday night and claim innocence as well.
At what point do we draw the line and begin to punish fighters, or is this whole ordeal over-exaggerated and severely overblown? No matter what your opinion is, we can all agree that it’s quite the slippery slope that we might be embarking upon.
Update: Yves Lavigne to the rescue.
However, Lavigne, who watched a replay of Saturday’s event, said the cameras did not reveal that both himself and Leites’ corner had noticed Silva repeatedly touch his face and body during his warm-up lap around the Octagon. Lavigne said Leites’ corner motioned for the referee to inspect Silva’s body, although Lavigne said he would have proceeded regardless.
“I saw he had a little Vaseline on his chest and I wiped it from his chest and arms, as I saw him touching them as well,” Lavigne told Sherdog.com on Tuesday.
Lavigne said he then motioned to Leites’ corner and was given a “thumbs up” of approval.
“I took care of it, and the other corner felt OK with it,” said Lavigne.
Kudos to Yves for catching it, and taking care of it.