I have no idea if all the gear George Sotiropoulos wears under his shorts and on his legs are legal or not, but we might find out if Joe Lauzon goes ahead and complains to the commish about it leading up to their fight at UFC 123:
“I don’t see how you can wear your regular fight shorts, compression shorts under that that go to your knee, then wear knee pads on both sides that go halfway down your leg, then ankle supports that go halfway up your leg and down to your toes,” Lauzon said. “I don’t know what the deal is with the commission, if he’ll be allowed to wear those or not, but we’re prepared for him either way.”
Some have claimed that Sotiropoulos is gaining an unfair advantage by artificially increasing the friction between his legs and his opponent’s body with the attire. Kurt Pellegrino, the last fighter to face Sotiropoulos, went so far as to suggest that the Australian was a “cheater” because of the added accessories.
Lauzon said he had adjusted his training to prepare for it, grappling with sparring partners dressed in gi pants to simulate the added friction, though he said he hadn’t decided yet whether he would press Michigan officials to take a stand on Sotiropoulos’ outfit when the two face off in Detroit.
“We’ll think about it. I don’t know if it will make a huge difference, but at the same time, why give him that advantage? Maybe we’ll make a formal request to not let him wear them.”
The fun thing about all this is that while pants are illegal in MMA (much to the sadness of Karate masters around the world), tights, kneepads, and ankle braces are all legal – even when all thrown together Sotiropoulos-style! Ridiculous, but still legal.