(“Is it cool if we just throw wild haymakers at each other?”)
The initial investigation was to determine whether commission rule 548.058, addressing “Sham or Collusive Contests,” was violated.
[FSBC Executive Director Thomas] Molloy interviewed Petruzelli, who said only that EliteXC officials told him to “just do your best.” Petruzelli further stated that the comments he made on a Florida talk radio show implying a fixed fight were “misconstrued” by listeners.
Mr. Molloy subsequently reviewed Petruzelli’s bout agreement and found no evidence of any additional bonuses other than a “win” bonus of $15,000.
Molloy also spoke with EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, members of the Nevada and California State Athletic Commissions, and David “Tank” Abbott about possible wrongdoing in the past. According to Sherdog, Molloy asked if Abbott had been asked to fight in a particular manner, to which he replied, “No, nothing was said.” Of course with Tank, it didn’t need to be. But it seems that since EliteXC isn’t even a functioning entity anymore, the FSBC is content to take Petruzelli and Lappen at their words and move on without doing any real digging.
And the dirt is out there, if they wanted to put in the effort. There’s T.J. Thompson, the Pro Elite exec who remains convinced that Petruzelli was explicitly paid to not shoot for takedowns in the Kimbo Slice fight. And then there’s this item from NSAC executive director Keith Kizer:
Kizer said that about two weeks ago, he had a conversation with someone from ProElite whom he did not name. As later recalled in comments to MMAWeekly, Kizer recounted, “Someone affiliated with ProElite told me that the fighter (Kimbo) or his camp said that he had not been training to fight a Muay Thai specialist and thus he had not trained to defend Muay Thai-style kicks, so that he would agree to fight the proposed opponent if the opponent agreed not to use any such kicks, and that information was told to that opponent.”
After recalling this information during the NSAC’s meeting on Wednesday, Kizer said that he was curious to ask [ProElite CEO Chuck] Champion and [in-house counsel Keith] Wallner if there was any truth to that. Wallner essentially said that he had never heard of anything like that. Champion said that he was present for the negotiations, and that nothing like that happened in his presence, and that nothing at all improper happened in his presence.
And that’s that. Nobody will be going to jail or hit with heavy fines. Though the knowledge that Jeremy Lappen and $kala Shaw might be out of the fight game forever feels like a victory for everyone…