Fans and pundits alike seem split about whether or not the compression short-ankle and knee support combination worn by lightweight George Sotiropoulos are legal under the Unified Rules of mixed martial arts.
Even G-Sot's opponent, Joe Lauzon has labeled the Australian fighter a cheater because of his in-Octagon apparel. G-Sot chose to forgo wearing his knee braces at UFC 116 in July after opponent Kurt Pellegrino called him a cheater for wearing them.
According to reputable officials, Sotiropoulos’s choice of legwear is perfectly legal under their jurisdictions, but ultimately, the final call goes to the commission overseeing each event.
“The unified rules are silent on the issue with regard to braces. It is not a topic that is specifically addressed there, thus, it would be up to the individual commissions. [NJSACB’s] position is to allow neoprene sleeves, but not taping, pads or [rigid] bracing."
Nick Lembo, Counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board
“We look at knee “braces” on a case-by-case basis. The basic rule is you cannot use anything that could harm the opponent (like sharp edges or buckles or excess padding), could help get and hold a submission (like sticky or gripping material), or could help escape a submission (like slippery material).”
Keith Kizer, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director
A request for clarification about Sotiropoulos' supports from the body that will be overseeing Saturday night’s event – the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission, has not been answered as of time of writing.
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