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Seth Petruzelli Does Some Serious Backtracking

(Photo courtesy of MMA Junkie.)

Seth Petruzelli can’t understand why all you internet conspiracy theorists might possibly think that Elite XC paid him extra to stand and bang with Kimbo Slice rather than take him down. What a crazy notion. All he did was go on a radio show and say:

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.

Oh crap. That sounds like he said exactly what he’s now saying that he didn’t say. Don’t worry, Sam Caplan sat down with Petruzelli to help him sort it all out. Among the revelations in the full Five Ounces of Pain interview with Petruzelli: he’d been drinking all night before making those comments on that radio show, but still feels like he “worded it perfectly” (so why mention the drinking at all?), the extra money was just for a knockout bonus, and he feels the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

Petruzelli explains it was all on the up-and-up, but something doesn’t sound right.

Sam Caplan: Would you have received a bonus had you submitted Kimbo?

Seth Petruzelli: Yes. There were submission bonuses, knockout bonuses, and a “Fight of the Night” bonus — just like the UFC does it. They just want an exciting fight no matter where it goes.

Sam Caplan: Did the submission bonus pay the same as the knockout bonus?

Seth Petruzelli: Yes. Every bonus is the same.

Sam Caplan: You’ve fought in the UFC and I’ve heard from fighters that have competed in the UFC that during rules meetings it’s not uncommon for a UFC official at the end to stress to the fighters that they expect to see exciting fights. When you were there did you ever hear anything like that prior to a fight card and at any point prior to your fight with Kimbo did EliteXC or ProElite give you a similar speech?

Seth Petruzelli: At the rules meetings, either Dana White, Joe Silva, or someone like that will come in and say “Hey, you guys are getting an opportunity, so make it exciting.” And that’s when he usually announces what the amounts are for the knockout and submission bonuses and that sort of thing. And actually that’s not even how it is with Elite. Elite never mentioned anything like that. UFC said that but Elite didn’t. They just mentioned the bonuses (and) they never said that you had to perform or anything like that.

This sounds suspiciously like damage control. We previously speculated that Petruzelli is trying to downplay the whole story now that he’s come to realize what a serious and possibly criminal accusation he made against his own employers. Now Petruzelli talks with Sam Caplan, who might be, let’s say, sympathetic to Elite XC fighters, and claims that Elite XC hasn’t contacted him at all after the radio interview.

You also have to wonder what became of these other bonuses he refers to. Who got the submission and fight of the night bonuses, and how much were they for, exactly? Even the UFC, as long as we’re making the comparisons, gives out that information. And the UFC is so secretive about financial shit that they make Dick Cheney look like an open book. (Hi-yo!)

This isn’t to say that Petruzelli is lying. It just seems weird. These new revelations about knockout bonuses and submission bonuses don’t completely explain his previous comments. If the bonuses were the same, and since he’d already seen Andrei Arlovski score a knockout and Jake Shields score a submission, there’s no way he could have been sure that he’d wind up getting that bonus. Unless…Elite XC officials told him he was guaranteed the KO bonus if he went toe-to-toe with Kimbo. Would that be illegal? Hell if I know. But unethical? Shady? Suspicious? A bad idea at the top of a slippery slope towards fight fixing? Maybe.

All I can say is I’m not buying this story that’s telling us there’s no story here. It sounds a little too much like “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” But hey, I’m a crazy internet conspiracy theorist.

Cagepotato Comments

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JP- October 7, 2008 at 4:08 pm
Who gives a shit about what anyone says, including Seth! At the end of the day Kimbo was beaten at his own game in less than 15 seconds. Only in MMA could the underdog beat his opponent and take shit for it.....pathetic.
JONAS- October 7, 2008 at 5:44 am
Who cares.... theres plenty of MMA fighters that would jump to sign some kind of contract to fight on prime time TV. The MMA scene is monopolized by the UFC and the smaller organizations are just doing what they feel they gotta' do to get their cash.
JONAS- October 7, 2008 at 5:44 am
Who cares.... theres plenty of former MMA guys that would jump to sign some kind of contract to fight on prime time TV. The MMA scene is monopolized by the UFC and the smaller organizations are just doing what they feel they gotta' do to get their cash.
Very Elusive- October 7, 2008 at 5:11 am
Nice job there by Caplan shilling for EliteXC, his questions all but contained the answer and message they (EliteXC&Petruzelli) want to get out
Chef- October 7, 2008 at 3:23 am
Regardless if Petruzelli was bribed or not, I think the point should be that he did knock Kimbo TFO.
mmmiles- October 7, 2008 at 3:04 am
I don't know, I doubt that the intent or result was remotely criminal.
Imagine the position EliteXC is in, they just got boned massively by Shamrock and they know the fans are really going to be let down. So they ask Petruzelli to make an exciting fight. I love grappling and JJ but most people I know do not find it "exciting" so it seems *completely* reasonable for EliteXC to make that kind of request.

This isn't a 20 million dollar boxing match with $100 million riding at the bookies... I don't see a problem here, or one we should really care about it.
Captain Obvious- October 7, 2008 at 2:31 am
He's a pole smoker. Seth took the fight so he could fondle Kimbo's package to bear witness to the rumors of how large his cock is.
SKALALOVESBLOW- October 7, 2008 at 12:33 am
WOW. this is like one big fucking soap opera but better! Everyday more and more info comes out that just makes EXC look sketchier and sketchier. FUCKING RAD!
Sodak- October 6, 2008 at 11:58 pm
by the way sounds to me like XC encouraged seth to stand with a heavier promotional favorite hoping he'd get knocked out which is Bullshit, i find it hard to believe XC would be stupid enough to actually bribe him with a set monetary amount but it sounds like there was some involvement where there shouldn't of been. most people want to please their employer and it sounds like XC made it known to him what would please them.
shitwhistle- October 6, 2008 at 11:52 pm
Oh my, how the gays love the drama...
Sodak- October 6, 2008 at 11:45 pm
you want exciting fights!? BRING BACK THE YELLOW CARD! i loved that shit. Guida would of made about ten bucks after he got about thirty of em in that Danzig fight. nothing pisses a fighter off more or compels him to fight like taking his money.
FilmDrunk- October 6, 2008 at 11:32 pm
How bout the fact that Petruzelli said on the radio show that his compensation from Elite XC was six figures, when Elite XC's records say they only paid him 50K total (base and bonus)? Also, when's Shamrock gonna release a statement?
Howie- October 6, 2008 at 11:06 pm
@ Darell -

Do you imply that Shamrock cut himself on purpose and the fix didn't go as intended?

aaron- October 6, 2008 at 11:04 pm
Of course petruzelli is lying. First he said they talked him out of a gamplan that involved takedowns with a bonus, then he says he just wanted to keep it standing to please the fans and it was "all him."

What is so difficult to understand? Seth's retraction is a lie.
darell- October 6, 2008 at 11:01 pm
Interesting,.l... the winner of the fight, his family, trainer get threathened by Kimbo's thugs while he is in the ring, the promoters actually tell him to stop celebrating but do we hear about it before? No. The brothas behave like thugs or worse, soccer fans and that I guess is business as usual.
Instead, we get the conspiracy theorists sucking the life out of the moment for the guy.
Let me get it right, Shamrock cut himself and the fight was fixed.

Thanks potato homos.
Howie- October 6, 2008 at 10:57 pm
Say what you want about their financial statement doom and say what you want about their stable skills. What makes the MMA fan community so interesting is our expectations are so high and we can thank the UFC for it. We can complain about other promoters and complain about shabby ring girls and poorly edited PPV's and then go over the tapes and laugh about the wages and bonuses.
This whole debacle (and there really is no conspiracy to talk of, the guy was told to manipulate his skills so as not to exploit the others weakness. Thats his original statement and that's what we should be going by) is unfortunately going to put a huge nail in EliteXC's coffin. The down side of this is as with all businesses. if you want to be provided the best in entertainment there needs to be healthy competition. Without competition comes complacency. The wages go down, the training goes down and the cards all start to look the same.
Don't get me wrong, I think Elite XC is a joke. But you can't help but feel for the fighters that are eeking out a living over there. They are bashing their brains in for an organization that has no different goals than any other. Put on a great show and take the cash away in the wheel barrow.
Anonymous- October 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm
Its suspicious, but I can see how what he said could be taken out of context.