Kenny Garner's duel with Maxim Grishin for the M-1 Interim Heavyweight Championship at M-1 Challenge 27 may have been entangled in refereeing controversy, however, the real commotion started before the fighters ever entered the ring.
According to Garner's striking coach, Paulie "Gloves" Gavoni, the team immediately sensed something amiss as they were warming up in the locker room.
"One of our guys walked by and smelled the aroma of Bengay in the back," Gavoni explained to MMA Nation. "So we had the commissioner check and they had to wipe the Bengay off (Grishin) before he walked in there."
"They were rubbing it on his legs," said the corner-man who spotted the infraction. "As soon as they noticed I was there, he took off back into the dressing room."
The use of Bengay -- similar to IcyHot or other sports creams -- is of course illegal in mixed martial arts. Though the gaffe ended up all for naught, as Garner submitted Grishin in the final minute of the fifth round with a flurry of unanswered blows to claim the belt.
"It started the night off on the wrong foot," Gavoni said with a wry smile. "But then again it got ‘Deuce' fired up."
Photo via M-1 Global