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If UFC 129 Was in NV or NJ, GSP Would Have Lost to Jake Shields

One of the hot topics of conversation coming out of UFC 129 was Georges St. Pierre's eye injury suffered during the main event, where he successfully defended the UFC Welterweight Title against Jake Shields.  After getting poked in the eye when Shields swatted at him (animated GIF), St. Pierre was blinded.  Some have argued that this made Shields the rightful winner because the fight would have have been stopped if the referee and/or doctor had been made aware of the injury.  Luke Thomas's piece at gives an excellent layout of the basic facts.

Personally, I found it strange that GSP and coach Greg Jackson were so open about the injury when on camera between rounds.  This stuck out even more on a night where in, between rounds of an earlier fight (I don't recall exactly which it was, but Aldo vs Hominick sounds right), one coach was audibly counting down until the director switched to the other corner before he went over strategy with his fighter.  Coaches and fighters often try to avoid being caught strategizing on camera so their opponents can't find out what they're talking about, so that wasn't surprising, especially since UFC presumably spends the same amount of time with every corner.  So, again, it was strange that GSP and Jackson were so loud and specific while on camera. With GSP's depth perception gone and a big huge blind spot on his left side, Shields could have taken advantage of the injury (why he didn't is a whole 'nother blog post).

With Ontario being new to sanctioning MMA and Shields/Jackson being so vocal about the injury between rounds seeming so strange, I figured I'd check in with New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Counsel Nick Lembo and Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer.  Both said that the inspector assigned to the corner was to notify the doctor and/or referee if a fighter was blinded in one eye if they heard the fighter talking to his coach about it.  Probably the most famous intervention by one of these inspectors was when GSP was accused of greasing his body with Vaseline/petroleum jelly (via cornerman Phil Nurse) between rounds during his fight with B.J. Penn at UFC 94.

Some people are focusing on how the strike that did the damage looked like an intentional poke and how Shields is very friendly with Chuck Liddell, who was notorious for constant "accidental" pokes in his fights.  As Luke Thomas noted, Shields wasn't caught and warned, so officially, there was no foul, intentional or otherwise.  Since there was no foul, he would've been declared winner if there was a doctor stoppage and won the title.  While GSP could try to appeal the decision, Shields would've walked out of the fight as UFC Welterweight Champion if the doctor had been made aware of the injury and stopped the fight.

The assigned ringside doctor didn't find out, but if you drop everything up to GSP and Greg Jackson loudly discussing the blindness into New Jersey or Nevada, (s)he would have.

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