Steroids in MMA
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Tag: Jeremy Lappen

FSBC Closes ‘Sham’ Investigation Against EliteXC

Tank Abbott Kimbo Slice MMA EliteXC
(“Is it cool if we just throw wild haymakers at each other?”)

The Florida State Boxing Commission announced yesterday that its 13-day investigation of EliteXC’s alleged fight-fixing discovered no wrongdoing, and the case is now closed. As MMA Weekly reports:

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.


Dana White on EliteXC: “That’s Fucking Illegal”; Lappen Changes His Story Again

Dana White calls for EliteXC investigation – Watch more free videos

Dana White is downright pissed off. He’s so mad at EliteXC in this video, one camera angle is insufficient for capturing his rage. He lays into EliteXC for the Seth Petruzelli “knockout bonus” scandal and suggests that Jeremy Lappen and the Shaws should look into the kickboxing business if they want to keep fights off the ground so badly. I couldn’t agree more.

For his part, EliteXC Head of Operations Jeremy Lappen changes his story yet again in a talk with AOL Fanhouse. First, Lappen told that Petruzelli was offered a knockout bonus, but the company doesn’t offer submission bonuses. Then he told that Petruzelli was offered a KO bonus, a submission bonus, and a fight of the night bonus. Now he says both stories misquoted him:

“They’re both wrong,” Lappen said. “We have given submission bonuses in the past but they’re not as common as knockout bonuses. If the question is, ‘Have we ever given submission bonuses?’ The answer is yes. But we give knockout bonuses more often. We gave Seth a knockout bonus before the fight started. That was part of the deal.”

Hold up, you gave him a knockout bonus before the fight started? As in, before he had knocked anyone out? Goddammit Lappen, I sure as hell hope you were “misquoted” yet again. At the very least I hope it’s just poor phrasing on your part and what you meant to say was you told of him of a potential knockout bonus before the fight. But either way, it’s still bullshit. You offered him an incentive to win a fight in a very specific manner, not an incentive to simply finish the fight.

Not to mention, this is the third time you’ve changed your story. Nobody gets misquoted this often. Not unless they keep changing their story so often that they can’t keep all the versions straight in their own mind.


EliteXC Under Investigation by Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

Kimbo Slice Tank Abbott Gary Shaw MMA EliteXC
(If Tank was allowed to use his fearsome jiu-jitsu, it would have been a totally different story. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

When it was first announced that the Florida State Boxing Commission would not be investigating EliteXC’s alleged fight-fixing attempt, it seemed like the scandal would quietly be swept under the rug. But the public/media outcry has become too loud to ignore, and is reporting that the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation — which oversees the FSBC — will open a preliminary investigation into the legality of Seth Petruzelli’s “knockout bonus”:

“While the Department of Business and Professional Regulation doesn’t have any reason to believe there was a problem with the Slice-Petruzelli fight, given the interest in it, the Department has begun a preliminary investigation to thoroughly review the circumstances of the fight,” said Jennifer Meale, Communications Director for the DBPR.

Responding to this new development, EliteXC Head of Operations Jeremy Lappen continued to deny that the promotion acted inappropriately in any way:

“We offered Seth Petruzelli a knockout bonus, a submission bonus and “fight of the night” bonus. If we were trying to influence the fight, why would we do that?”

Oh, so now Seth was offered a submission bonus too? This is the first we’ve heard about that one, and of course, it directly contradicts what Petruzelli originally said. (“They didn’t want me to take him down.”) Former EliteXC boss Gary Shaw isn’t helping their case either. Speaking to the L.A. Times, $kala’s dad said…


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:


Now That Kimbo’s Been KO’d, Let the Spin Begin

(Just another day in the organization for Jared Shaw. Props: Steve Cofield.)

The Kimbo Slice fairy tale is over now. At least it ought to be. The “street certified” brawler got himself knocked out in fourteen seconds by a guy who calls himself a “part-time fighter.” A guy who isn’t in the same weight class and isn’t thought of as anything more than a mediocre also-ran in the weight class he normally calls home. To call this a worst case scenario for Elite XC is putting it too mildly. This is an absolute disaster. Which means, of course, that they will now try to convince us that it is not.

Announcer Mauro Ranallo got that ball rolling almost immediately after the fight by suggesting that this should be considered a “mulligan” for Kimbo, since he didn’t plan on fighting Petruzelli. Do we dare mention that Petruzelli also didn’t plan on fighting Kimbo, a heavyweight, in the main event? Apparently not. Instead we start playing up the predictable Rocky Balboa angle, forgetting for the moment that Rocky fought Apollo Creed, the world champion. Unlike Kimbo, the fictional Apollo was both style and substance, and he didn’t go down to a tentative jab.

This is the point where Elite XC makes excuses for Kimbo and tells us that a star is born in Petruzelli. Just watch Jared Shaw working from this script in his interview with Ariel Helwani and see if you don’t find yourself feeling a little sorry for him. His cringe-worthy performance includes transparent lies such as, “it’s just another day in the organization,” and “(Pertruzelli) is a very promotable guy; everybody in this sport is promotable,” and my personal favorite, “we’re gathering all our other nuts.”

This, from the same guy who could be seen having a total meltdown at cageside while Kimbo was getting pounded out on live network TV.

The person who seemed least bothered by last night’s events was Kimbo Slice himself. He hyped his after-party in the post-fight interview and showed up forty-five minutes late to the press conference, where he interrupted Elite XC Head of Operations Jeremy Lappen and made a very brief statement, laughing about his swollen eye, and then disappeared again.


Elite XC Standing Behind Their Bigfoot

Despite a positive drug test, Elite XC heavyweight champ Antonio Silva is insisting that he did not take the horse-friendly Boldenone, as the California State Athletic Commission claims. His agent, ATT’s Alex Davis, wasted no time in refuting the charge, which we just assumed was something agents were obliged to do. Sean Sherk taught us that sometimes just challenging the positive test is enough to get your suspension reduced, so why not give it a shot?

But now Jeremy Lappen, Elite XC’s Head of Fight Operations, is getting in on the act with this statement released to the media via email:

“We respect the California commission and the job they do. We always enjoy working with them and work very well together. The illegal use of steroids is a problem in all major sports, including mixed martial arts. We certainly do not condone the use of steroids.

“But we also support, trust and have confidence in our fighter, Antonio Silva, who has denied ever taken any illegal substance, including steroids, and is prepared to challenge the results of the California Commission.

“So until all the facts are known and a final decision is rendered, EliteXC will reserve making any further comments at this time.’’

Now we’ve got a real fight on our hands. It’s unclear what “facts” Lappen is waiting for, since Silva’s A and B samples both tested positive for the drug, which supposedly has such a long half-life in the body as to make a positive fairly damning.

It’s noble for Elite XC to stick up for their guy, but it’s also a bit of a risk. It makes me wonder, has Lappen ever actually seen Silva? Of all the people I’d be willing to stick my neck out for when it comes to steroid allegations, the guy with the frighteningly-prominent brow and the Cro-Magnon jaw structure might not be my first choice.


Wait, Jared Shaw Still Has a Job?

(Guess who’s getting promoted to the position of Kimbo’s Official Gold Chain Holder. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin.)

When news dropped that Gary Shaw had resigned from Pro Elite just shortly after everyone within the company, including his son Jared, assured the media that things were just fine and nobody was going anywhere, we naturally assumed that Jared was on his way out too. It’s like when you’re the son of a third world dictator and you get some cushy do-nothing job. When your dad is overthrown by a power-hungry general in a bloody coup, it usually means you’re on the next flight out with a briefcase full of cash or you get killed in your sleep.

But according to new Pro Elite Chairman Charles Champion, whose name is awesome and maybe fake, Jared is going to be sticking around in some capacity:

Jared has been with the company from the beginning. Gary has often said that it was really Jared that brought Gary into it. Jared has continued to work on making matches and continue to promote ProElite and ProElite athletes. He’s continuing to work with the fight team. I haven’t talked to Jared about what he’s going to be doing ten years from now but I have talked to Jared about what he’s going to be doing for the next while with us. He’s enthusiastic and others are enthusiastic about his approach and what he’s doing now, so we think that is all going to work out well.

Seriously? So the lesson here is, nepotism works? Man, this is why I hate learning lessons.