Liberal New Mexico Greasing Rules And the Diego Sanchez Bare Knuckle Boxing Appeal

Today MMAFighting reports that Diego Sanchez is filing a formal appeal with the New Mexico Athletic Commission seeking to overturn the result in his recent loss to Austin Trout in BKFC over allegations of greasing.

As with all combat sports appeals the laws of the jurisdiction in question need to be scrutinized and here New Mexico has some unique rules when it comes to greasing and appeals.

In short Sanchez’s appeal is based on allegation that his opponent applied Vaseline to his s face and then rubbing down his shoulders and neck.

Many jurisdictions limit Vaseline application to the face only. New Mexico, on the other hand, has a vague rule which allows ‘discretion‘ and does not strictly limit the use of Vaseline to the face.

NMAC notes vaseline can be used on the arms reading as follows “Only discretional use of petroleum jelly [e.g. vaseline], and nothing else, will be allowed on the face, arms, or any other part of the contestant’s body.  The excessive use of petroleum jelly is strictly prohibited and the referee shall direct that any excessive petroleum jelly be removed.

Often a fighter has no hope on appeal given how limited most Athletic Commission rules are on when an appeal can succeed. Here, however, Sanchez has a bit more grace with NMAC specifically allowing an opponents win to be overturned to a ‘no decision’ with the relevant part of the rule reading as follows:

 Any contestant determined to have been using…a….foreign substance, and who has been adjudged the winner of a match, shall forfeit the win, and shall not be allowed to engage in any future match in this state.

                                (1)           A “no decision” result shall be entered into the official record of the match.

                                (2)           The purse shall be redistributed as though the contestant found to be in violation of this subsection had lost the match.

The above greasing rule does not expressly limit the application of vaseline pre fight. However, NMAC suggests that additional vaseline in between rounds (as opposed to at the beginning of the bout) would not be allowed. The rule reads as follows:

     A.            During the contest, only water is to be used in the corners.

                B.            No substance, other than plain drinking water, shall be given to or ingested by a contestant during the course of a match.

In short, New Mexico allows an appeal based on illegal greasing. But the State also allows vaseline to be applied with discretion on the “arms or any other part of the contestant’s body“. The rules suggest that no further Vaseline could be used in between rounds.


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