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St-Pierre apologises for Rising Sun symbol

ESPN staff
March 27, 2013

Georges St-Pierre has broken his silence over the controversial gi he wore at UFC 158, apologising for any offence caused.

St-Pierre arrived for his UFC welterweight title defence against Nick Diaz in his usual Karate gi - harking back to his roots in the sport of mixed martial arts.

However, on this occasion St-Pierre's clothing manufacturers Hayabusa included a Rising Sun symbol, which fellow UFC fighter Chan Sung Jung (the Korean Zombie) later highlighted as a "symbol of war crimes, much like the German Hakenkreuzflagge".

Hayabusa quickly issued an apology for its misjudgement and vowed not to reproduce the gi for a future merchandise range.

St-Pierre has since added his own apology, writing on his Facebook page: "I'd like to also personally apologise to anyone who was offended by this. I am very sorry, that was never my intention."

The Zombie, meanwhile, explained his reason for highlighting the issue in an open letter, telling the Korea Times: "I just did what I had to do. I posted some of Japan's wartime crime pictures on St-Pierre's Twitter to address the issue but I did not get any response. So, I decided to post a lengthy English letter on my Facebook."

UFC 158 proved a troubling event for St-Pierre who, despite winning via unanimous decision, cannot shake off Diaz, whose camp is now demanding a rematch on grounds of a legal dispute over the weigh-ins.

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