"I stick up for him a lot because we put so much weight on his shoulders because we had to, we needed a face. No, we didn’t expect him to be the world champion. We knew if he fought the kind of fighters that were at that level that his chances of winning were probably slimmer," said Shaw. "But you’ve got to throw somebody up there as the best in the world, because you’ve got to put a face on the company. And that’s not to say he can’t become one of the best fighters in the world, cause he’s an athlete, he has talent, but that was the situation we were up against."
“I think that if you look back at the past, he could have been built up to have the fights that he needed to face the Seth Petruzellis of the world and be successful, but he wasn’t given the opportunity,” said Coker. “When I look at Kimbo, I don’t look at it as his fault. He was in a ‘no win’ situation.”
Kimbo’s manager, “Icey” Mike Imber, indicated that while he wasn’t enthusiastic about a pay-cut for his fighter, he’d consider it rather than keep him out of action indefinitely. But one thing’s for sure, Bas Rutten will not be training Slice. Ever.
Former greatest pound-for-pound boxer in the world Roy Jones Jr. is testing the waters of MMA promotion with a hybrid boxing/MMA card to be held March 21st in Pensacola, Florida. Jones’s company Square Ring Promotions, Inc. is hosting "March Badness" at the Pensacola Civic Center, featuring RJJ himself boxing in the main event against Palestinian-American journeyman Omar Sheika. Jones, who has held titles in four different weight classes during his career, is coming off a high-profile decision loss to Joe Calzaghe in November. Of greater interest to MMA fans is the event’s supporting card, which will feature three fairly compelling MMA matches.
Rookie MMA fighter Kimbo Slice is already back in a local gym after his 14-second loss to last-minute replacement and UFC light heavyweight washout Seth Petruzelli in Sunrise.
Slice, who spent Thursday at one of his children’s school career day, is weighing his options with his agent Mike Imber. He may fight on the DREAM K-1 New Year’s Eve show in Japan, possibly a rematch with Petruzelli.
Oh man, career day? Poor Kevlar. I wonder if Kimbo was too embarrassed to talk about MMA following his recent loss, and instead delivered a five-minute speech about what it takes to be a porn company bodyguard.
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.
(Believe it or not, Kendall Grove vs. Chris Price was one of them.)
Using minute-by-minute Nielsen ratings data, MMA Weekly’s Ivan Trembow has painstakingly put together a list of the 20 individual MMA fights with the highest U.S. viewership. As he clarifies: “Viewership levels are based on live viewership, plus same-day DVR, rounded to the nearest 1,000 viewers, and the times listed are ET/PT. The indicated times begin at the opening bell of a fight and end at the minute in which the winner of the fight is known.” A few things to keep in mind before we get to the list:
— Pay-per-view fights are excluded due to a lack of reliable information, so the list only includes UFC fights on Spike and EliteXC shows on CBS.
— Seth Petruzelli actually appears on the list twice, thanks to his recent headlining fight at EliteXC: Heat and his fight against Matt Hamill at UFC: The Final Chapter in October 2006. Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, and Hamill also show up on the list twice.
— Keep in mind that these aren’t even close to being the most-watched MMA fights worldwide. Due to Japan’s love of New Year’s Eve freak show bouts, a fight would need to draw over 30 million sets of eyeballs to crack the top five. In the U.S., only a bout between Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano would come close to putting up those kinds of numbers. So here we go…
Gina Carano does her best to play down the various EliteXC controversies in this interview with Steve Cofield. They cover everything from her naked weigh-in (where maybe Jared Shaw tried to sneak a peek) to her very meager pay to the impending investigation into the Seth Petruzelli bonus fiasco to…wait a minute. Is that the national anthem playing in the background? Gina, did you carry on with the interview through the national fucking anthem? The goddamn Star-Spangled Banner!? Jesus, that’s worse than wearing a hat during it! And you call yourself an American Gladiator.
But on a serious note, where I get confused is where Carano says she’s actually happy that people know how little she made (1/20 of Kimbo’s purse, as Cofield points out) because now they’ll know she doesn’t do this for money. Now, I’m no high-powered sports agent, but I have to think that maybe it’s this attitude that’s the problem. It’s one thing to say you’re not only in this for the money, but this is your career. It’s not just about what you want; it’s about what’s fair. I’m sure there are plenty of up-and-coming women fighters who wish that you’d make this point to your employers a little more forcefully. Plus, maybe if you made more to fight you wouldn’t have to do all this other shit on the side. Just saying.
Below, check out a clip from Randy Couture‘s perfectly coiffured days as a wrestler. An extra special bonus surprise awaits you after the jump. Props to MMA Scraps for the find(s).
This 18-minute compilation is the only PRIDE highlight reel you’ll ever need, featuring the most brain-rattling finishes by Aleksander and Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Mirko Cro Cop, Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Sergei Kharitonov, Joachim Hansen and many more. Listen closely at the 8:27-8:30, 8:47-8:50, and 17:47-17:50 marks to hear early versions of Frank Trigg’s “Oh! Oh no! Oh no!” catchphrase that he perfected during the Fedor/Sylvia fight.
Speaking of dudes who knock people dead, here’s heavyweight rising star Shane Carwin discussing his fight against the noticeably smaller Neil Wain at UFC 89 this Saturday. Carwin is currently 9-0, with all wins coming via first-round stoppage, and all but one of those stoppages happening within the first two minutes.
Something short, simple, and hilarious awaits you after the jump…
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 Si.com that Petruzelli was offered a knockout bonus, but the company doesn’t offer submission bonuses. Then he told ESPN.com 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.