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EliteXC Update: Lappen Issues Statement, Dana White Disgusted, Jim Rome Ain’t Having It

(ESPN‘s Jim Rome lays into EliteXC at about the 5:20 mark.)

This thing isn’t going away quietly. In the wake of allegations that EliteXC offered Seth Petruzelli extra money to stand and bang with Kimbo Slice, Head of Operations Jeremy Lappen issued a formal statement defending the company’s actions and refuting any claims of impropriety, saying in part:

“Seth Petruzelli was offered a fee to fight Kimbo Slice, plus a knockout bonus, a common practice throughout the industry. EliteXC organizes and promotes fights. We have not…do not…and will not suggest or dictate fighters’ strategies or tactics. How the fighters perform in the cage is at the sole discretion of the athletes involved.

“The circumstances leading up to the Petruzelli/Slice fight were unusual. Ken Shamrock was declared medically ineligible less than three hours before the fight. As an organization, we made a decision to serve the paying audience in the arena and the prime time audience at home by delivering on a Kimbo Slice fight, which we had promised. This was done simply and solely with a standard fee and bonus offer to Petruzelli and by increasing the purse to Slice. Elite XC is grateful to both Seth and Kimbo for taking this fight against an opponent they didn’t train for and on such short notice.

He then goes on to trumpet Frank Shamrock‘s willingness to step in even though everyone knew it wasn’t a feasible offer (even Frank, one has to assume), touts the exciting and “diverse” night of fights, and mentions what great ratings it got.

Problem solved, right? I mean, all they did was offer the guy extra money to knock Kimbo out. They didn’t say that knockout had to be on the feet. And sure, they didn’t offer a submission bonus, but that’s only because they think submissions are boring. Nothing wrong with that…or is there? Well, yeah, there is actually. But don’t take our word for it.

Fortunately, Dana White spoke to the Boston Herald about it, and he’s not the type to mince expletives. I mean, words:

“It disgusts me,” White said. “I’ve been busting my (expletive) for 10 years flying all over the planet to show everybody what a great sport this is and what amazing people are involved in it. Then CBS throws this guy who fights at people’s barbecues on the main event because they’re trying to compete with us, and he gets knocked out in (14) seconds by a guy who didn’t win ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and couldn’t fight in the UFC. Then the guy turns around the next day and says, ‘The promoters actually paid me to not go to the ground with this guy. They paid me to stand up,’ which I’m pretty sure is illegal.”


“It put a nail in my coffin, too,” White said. “When dirty people go out and do stuff like that, it hurts. Promoters have a bad rap as it is because of the last 100 years of boxing. We actually started to turn that around and were doing the right things and then you have these guys coming out and doing (expletive) like that. It hurts us.”

See how he manages to blast EliteXC while at the same time couching his criticism in concern for the integrity of the sport? Not that his concern isn’t legitimate, but that’s a great job of killing two birds with one stone. Multi-tasking, if you will. Maybe producing this Irish Mob drama series while running the UFC at the same time won’t be so hard after all.

Cagepotato Comments

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Shotzy- October 9, 2008 at 2:26 pm
"Huuuuwhat Says: October 9th, 2008 at 9:36 am"
- You couldnt be more right lmao...!!!

People are blowing this so out of proportion... Kimbo got nocked out! Let it go! People are trying to analyse 14 seconds!

EliteXC probably did pay him money to stand and probably did it in a legal way to cover their asses. Regardless, their big name fighter got made a fool of. They better start paying respects and making a name to their other fighters that diserve it.
Huuuuwhat- October 9, 2008 at 2:25 pm
@ Teila & Smackdadiest...
Not that anyone is reading this after so long, but my point was not that he wasn't paid or not, but why is everyone stating that it is "obvious". If the fight was 14 seconds and he was standing, the only other option he would have had to disprove your theory was to have immediately fallen to the ground at the ring of the bell. What other way would the fight have started besides him backing up and swinging? Am I crazy here?
Anonymous- October 9, 2008 at 12:56 pm
I hope Jim Rome is wearing that facial hair ironically, it looks like it was glued on... poorly
Krazy Kracker- October 9, 2008 at 3:04 am
Anyone catch the most annoying show on earth today? I caught a glimpse of Pardon the Interruption in between walking to class today and they had this segment on if Kimbo getting knocked out "was bad for the sport". Basically they said this 3-0 douchebag, a relative nobody in MMA who has fought tomato cans (and wound up catching one to the dome) has "crippled the sport and proven that MMA is a farce that will not hold a candle to boxing". As if I didn't hate the show enough. Why do these cum stains, who look like the closest thing they've ever been to a sport is hopscotch, get off on talking shit about people who would absolutely sodomize them? Bizarre.
FightMitch- October 9, 2008 at 12:42 am
Elite XC does not have the credibilty that UFC has. I can't help to think of all the UFC fighters that crossed over to EXC, in hopes of cashing in and now may have to crawl back to Dana and beg for their contracts back.
FilmDrunk- October 8, 2008 at 11:07 pm
Dana White is the best commissioner in sports. At least, I wish he was commissioner. He's right, Elite XC makes MMA look bad.
Jugger- October 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm
At first I wasn't bothered by the fact that EliteXC hinted to Seth that they'd reward him if he kept the fight standing. I mean, they were still deaf in one ear from the giant sucking sound made by Shamrock's six stitches. The last thing they want is a 205 journeyman taking their cash-cow down and dry-humping him for 15 minutes...

But, the more I think about it, the more it irritates me. Here's why: dry-humping is a legitimate way to win an MMA match. Arona and Sherk have done it for years. As boring as it is, it still takes talent and mad-skills to dry-hump an opponent without letting them get up. That's what we love about MMA. Unlike boxing, there are 2,000,000 ways to win a fight. What EliteXC was trying to do was engineer a boxing match in a cage. That's not MMA. At best, it's "Ultimate Boxing" and at worst, it's "WWE".

Dana is right about this one. It gives MMA a credibility problem. I will cut EliteXC a little slack because they had just had their world wrecked (and the undercard they put on was great). They lost Shamrock at the last second and were scrambling to figure something out. The statement made to Seth was probably made frantically, with a nervous twitch and teary eyes. But it still stinks and I'm keeping a close eye on EliteXC from here on out.
I know all- October 8, 2008 at 6:46 pm
There is always going to be some sort of manipulation of fights. If it's with the fighters, or even the judges. They are usually going to be told something to manipulate the fight. It happens everywhere; Elite XC just got caught doing it.
Joseph- October 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm
EliteXC is a SHAM! How could they risk the integrity of the sport.

NBA, MLB, and Boxing
Hurricane- October 8, 2008 at 6:16 pm
It amazes me how many people here think EXC is innocent, when Seth is clearly trying to save his ass, Benji came clean and said the "new explanation" isn't true because he didn't hear of it, and EXC has a different version of the bonuses every five seconds with no clear answer for who got the bonuses.

If it looks like bullshit and smells like bullshit, it's bullshit.

And @ drkliter:

Your logic is precisely what I think about this. Not offering a submission bonus clearly influences the outcome, because no matter how much ground game you have (or in this case, your opponent lacks), you are hurting yourself financially by taking advantage of it.
drkliter- October 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm
isnt offering a knock out bonus and not offering a submission bonus influencing the fight? it looks pretty apparent to me it influencing.

promoter: "ok we pay you more money for knockouts"

fighter: "looks like ill try to knock him out even thought im a black belt in bjj"
xocgx- October 8, 2008 at 5:10 pm
What's funny is that Benji Radach knew nothing of a knockout bonus....

If I was to assume that Seth was being honest and his bosses told him to recant his statement or else....the evidence we have matches up perfectly.
Smackdaddiest1- October 8, 2008 at 5:08 pm

How much more obvious can it be? When the fight started, Seth backed up against the cage and started throwing (and I use this term loosely) front kicks to keep Kimbo off him....

No doubt in my mind they paid him to stand, but they sure as hell didn't expect him to win. When Lappen says knockout bonus, he means a bonus for Petruzelli for getting knocked out by Kimbo! Unfortunately for him and EliteXc, it didn't happen that way and the fraud of their meal ticket was exposed.
Bill Burge- October 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm
As long as you allow the usage of expletives; sure, people might call Dana White an asshole, but he's a well-spoken asshole.
Stupid N00b- October 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm
There is nothing in Seth's quote that is incongruent with EliteXC offering him a knockout bonus! How Jim Rome knows what went on behind the scenes at an event he wasn't at is beyond me! Rome is completely talking out of his a$%!
No I do not think so- October 8, 2008 at 4:23 pm
Blackleg, If he took a dive, he killed his next payday and people in the street are going to talk about how much of a bitch he is for getting knocked out by an off balance, 12 inch jab from a guy with a ass tattoo and an x that marks the spot. Not to mention pink hair and a gay ass my space page. Plus he was coming up in weight calss and had no time to prepare for the Big Bad Kimbo. No, That would kill his street cred. And by all the gang signs and after parties, that seems to be all he cares about.
Zackary Adams- October 8, 2008 at 4:19 pm
What bums me out is agreeing with anything that pompous goatee having c*nt ever says.

F*ck I hate Jim Rome.
Bdizzle is dumb- October 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm
Yeah B-Dizzle, and the Patriots paid Tom Brady to blow out his knee to prove bellichek is a good coach. You sir, are an idiot. You do not give your golden goose a gun and tape the barrel to his forehead. Now, ask yourself, what would be the benefit in giving your Great Black Hope money to croak his career? Man your stupid.
Blackleg- October 8, 2008 at 4:14 pm
@BDizzle: C'mon man. There's zero fucking chance they wanted Slice to be dropped - certainly not considering they're now stuck trying to market a guy that fancies sequins and lip gloss to fight fans. Nobody except for Seth's Beard is cheering that he won, everyone is cheering that Kimbo lost.

While we talking crazy.... anyone thought maybe Kimbo went down on his own accord? He's made a ton, even forced them to give him even MORE $$ to get him in there against the Rainbow Warrior. Maybe he's gotten tired of the bullshit and decided to cash out. I'd shake his fucking hand if he did, 'cause *that* would be funny as hell from the standpoint of screwing $kala over.
BDizzle- October 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm
What if they gave slice the extra money to take the fall?
Justin- October 8, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Tons of respect for Dana.....
Kimbo's Mom- October 8, 2008 at 3:44 pm
(expletive) you dana!!! my (expletive) son is....

Oh wait never mind you're right.
Teila Tuli's Tooth- October 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm
@ Huuuuwhat.. you didn't think he was paid to stand? Do yourself a favor a read Seth's original statement after the fight that has been posted over and over again.

"The promoters kinda hinted to me, and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him. They didn’t want me to take him down. Let’s just put it that way. It was worth my while to try and stand up and punch with him."
Markdog- October 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm
The Dana Section is brilliant! Is it gay if I love Ben?
Huuuuwhat- October 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm
I don't get where people think it is obvious he was paid to stand. The fight lasted 14 seconds. It's not like the fight went three rounds and the guy never went to the mat even though he should have. It was the first contact of the night when Slice went down.