Friday, October 10, 2008

Did EliteXC pay Petruzelli to stand with Kimbo?

ESPN.com is now reporting that the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has opened a preliminary investigation into whether there is any evidence that ProElite tried to influence the Kimbo Slice-Seth Petruzelli fight on CBS.

Petruzelli, a late substitution for veteran Ken Shamrock, overwhelmed Kimbo in 14 seconds.

The controversy flared on Monday when Petruzelli gave an interview to the "The Monsters of Orlando" show where he said: "The promoters kind of 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 to stand up and punch with him."

The implication being that Kimbo is such a novice on the ground that the promotion was trying to protect him. Petruzelli later claimed his statement was "misconstrued."

Meanwhile, EliteXC has denied the allegations.

"We had a main event that fell out three hours before the fight was scheduled to start," EliteXC matchmaker Lappen told ESPN.com. "We had to scramble. And rather than call off the event, which is what most promoters would do, we put together something for the fans -- and tried to put on the best fight possible.

"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?

"We were not trying to protect Kimbo. He had been training to fight a guy in Shamrock who has a better ground game than Seth. If we were trying to protect Kimbo we would have sent him home. We put him in a dangerous fight."
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