Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre was apparently just as surprised as Nick Diaz, along with his Stockton, Calif., entourage, to learn moments before the official UFC 158 weigh in that the Quebec Athletic Commission would "not count the decimal."
"They came to us just before weighing and even I was surprised," St. Pierre is quote as saying via loose Google Translation from LaPresse.ca. "They told us they were going round [to nearest whole number]."
It's a seemingly insignificant detail that under normal circumstances more than likely would have never even been a remote after thought much less a growing conspiracy theory; however, what went down inside the Bell Centre on March 15, 2013, was far from normal.
"Weight Gate," and the ensuing "Decimal Cover Up," dominated the mixed martial arts (MMA) headlines weeks after St. Pierre dominated Diaz for five rounds in the UFC 158 main event to earn a clear-cut unanimous decision win. And while UFC and the Quebec Athletic Commission seemingly couldn't get on the same page in regard to a coordinated response and/or explanation, Diaz's lawyer, Jonathan Tweedale, was beating them to the punch on valid technicalities.
"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."
St. Pierre -- who has never missed weight throughout his illustrious, and extensive, UFC career -- now admits the he believes he tipped the scales at 170.4 pounds (with shorts on!), while Diaz came in at 169 pounds and change.
Could St. Pierre have made 170 pounds on the button (or less) if he were not informed, like Diaz, about the "off the record" type of decimal thing? Most likely, but, we'll never know for certain.
What we do know for certain is that St. Pierre, and he is likely not alone by a long shot, prefers to come as close to the threshold as he is permitted. And he used every ounce allowed.
"The goal is to be 170 rather than 169, to be as close as possible to the limit while the weight," he continued. "It is a mental thing."