Besides the champ coming out to apologize for having a ‘Rising Sun’ logo on his Hayabusa walk-out Gi at UFC 158 (which I haven’t had time to write about), there is a bit of controversy over the Quebec Commission’s handling of the official weigh-ins.
The story is that before the official weigh-ins, UFC Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs, Michael Mersh, went to the Diaz camp to tell them that the Quebec Commission doesn’t count the “decimal” point. Meaning that if you were 0.5-lbs overweight for a welterweight match it would be counted as 170-lbs.
This is certainly an interesting piece of news as every other commission requires fighters to weigh-in on the mark or under, meaning that both GSP and Diaz would have to weigh in at, or under, 170-lbs for their title match in any other city.
Reporter Ariel Helwani Tweeted (@arielhelwani) this message on the situation last night after contacting the Quebec Commission.
Re: the decimal “controversy” at the GSP-Diaz weigh-ins last week. I just spoke to Michel Hamelin, the director of the Regie des Alcools des Courses et des Jeux (the Quebec boxing commission), and he said they will be sending out a statement this week to explain the situation in greater detail.
He also said that this has always been a rule in Quebec and that no funny business, so to speak, was in play to favor anyone on the card.
“I’ll tell you this,” he said. “The one thing we always do is respect our rules.”
Unfortunately, that’s all he wanted to say at this time. I’ll pass along their statement when it’s released later this week.
There had been a video of Mersch speaking to the Diaz camp at the Bell Centre just before the official weigh-ins for UFC 158 but has since been pulled “due to a copyright claim by UFC.”
Here is a transcription of that video as posted on MixedMartialArts.com.
“Here, they’re going to allow you and Georges to have an extra hour,” Mersch says. “Just in case somebody doesn’t make it.”
“But the good news is, they don’t count the decimal. If you’re 170.2 it’s 170. If it’s 170.9. it’s 170.”
A member of the Diaz camp responds, asking “why didn’t we know that before?”
“Should be fine, hopefully, other than that. Just so you guys are in the loop, if there’s …”
Again, a member of the Diaz camps responds, asking “why didn’t you tell us that yesterday?”
“Well, no,” he says. “It’s just something to keep in mind. That’s kind of an off the record type of thing. But keep that in mind. As long as he’s under 171, we should be good.
“But, there is a time period afterwards, for you and Georges only. All the other fighters have to make it the first time. Just letting you guys be in the loop, okay?”
A member of the Diaz camp quips, “that’s a loophole… A Canadian loophole.”
I am certainly against this sort of policy as it degrades the efforts of every other commission in North America who are trying to conduct themselves to a standard. If this has “always been a rule” why is this the first time it’s ever come up, and it begs to ask ‘what other rules have they changed?’