Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs and Assistant General Counsel, Michael Mersh, raised a few eyebrows last week with the way he handled the UFC 158 weigh ins between reigning 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre and division number one contender Nick Diaz.
See it here.
Just prior to tipping the scale, Diaz and his crew were informed that he was allowed to weigh in over the 170-pound weight limit -- so long as he came in under 171. That gave him the freedom to come in a few ounces heavy, but it also gave that freedom to St. Pierre, as well.
Naturally, the information did him little good a few moments before hitting the stage and when asked why that information was not made available beforehand, Mersh indicated it was an "off the record type of thing." It's since been coined the "Canadian Loophole."
Was this a creative way to insure sure the illness-stricken champ could make his mark?
When contacted by MMAmania.com, representatives from the Régie des alcools des courses et des jeux (Quebec's athletic commission) confirmed that both fighters made weight within the parameters of their contracts. In addition, their regulation on combat sports does not take decimals into account.
That consideration is a question of interpretation likely to be debated between the two parties under contract.
In short, both St. Pierre and Diaz could have weighed anywhere from 170.1-170.9 and still qualified as 170. That doesn't fly in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), where championship bouts cannot be even one ounce over the established weight limit.
But around these parts, that's to be debated between the contracted parties.
It still doesn't answer the question as to why Mersh waited until the last minute to inform Diaz of the allowance, or why he referred to it as "off the record" when the commission has no issue going "on the record." Perhaps it was a way to save face under interrogation?
Watch the video by clicking here and judge for yourself.