Referee Yves Lavigne says he wiped down Anderson Silva and got approval from Thales Leites’ corner prior to their main event bout Saturday at UFC 97.
An SI.com live blog observed that as Silva entered the Octagon, he rubbed lubricant -- applied to his face by a commission-approved cutman -- onto his torso. In the wake of “greasing” allegations against Georges St. Pierre’s corner at UFC 94, the observation received critical attention.
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.
Lavigne said both Silva and his corner were apologetic, and the fighter tried to assist the referee as he tended to him.
“While I wiped one glove, Silva took the end of the towel and wiped his other glove. He was helping me,” Lavigne said. “Both corners were aware of it and approved [of] it.Now Let's Stop Beating a Dead Horse, Shall We?