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Report: State of Florida launches investigation of ProElite and EliteXC

A preliminary investigation surrounding questionable circumstances involving this past weekend’s main event between Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and Seth Petruzelli during EliteXC and CBS’ Saturday Night Fights in South Florida has been launched by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The news is according to Franklin McNeil of ESPN.com and the Newark Star-Ledger.

Questions about Petruzelli’s 14-second first round TKO over Slice initially surfaced on Monday following an interview with 104.1 FM in Orlando.

“The promoters kind of hinted to me and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him,” Petruzelli told the hosts of the “The Monsters in Orlando” morning radio show. “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 FDBPR initially told FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier this week that it had no immediate plans to launch an investigation. While the state of Florida is now switching gears, it does not appear they believe any foul play was involved.

“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,” Jennifer Meale, Communications Director for the DBPR, is quoted as saying in ESPN.com’s report.

While it does not appear that ProElite and EliteXC officials tried to fix the outcome of the fight in a traditional sense, questions as to whether it played an unethical role in dictating the nature in which the fight was contested still remain.

During an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com conducted on Tuesday, Petruzelli said that while he did receive a knockout bonus, ProElite and EliteXC officials also offered a submission bonus of equal value as well.

“Yes,” Petruzelli told us when asked if the promotion also offered a submission bonus. “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.”

However, EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen publicly contradicted Petruzelli after being quoted by Josh Gross in an article for SI.com.

“We don’t give submission bonuses,” SI quoted Lappen. “(But Petruzelli) knew a knockout bonus was possible before the fight.”

Now it appears Lappen could be contradicting himself, unless Gross, a veteran MMA journalist, mis-quoted him because Lappen is quoted in ESPN.com’s report as saying that EliteXC indeed offered Petruzelli a submission bonus.

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

15 COMMENTS
  • Eric says:

    This whole situation is absolutely disgusting. They did as much as they could to fix the fight and the never got their stories straight because they never suspected that Petruzelli would win, so they probably never sat down with him and got all their facts on the same page. Crap like this sets the sport back and it’s unfortunate. I doubt the truth will ever come out, but with all the backpeddling and inaccuracies, I think it’s pretty easy to come to a logical conclusion. And I doubt this was the first time they’ve tried this with a Kimbo fight. The Cantrell fight was a joke and I thought the Thompson fight should have been stopped early when Kimbo was getting rained down on. Did they bribe the ref in the Thompson fight? Did they pay Cantrell to take a dive? And is EliteXC limiting themselves to just fixing Kimbo’s fights? Or is it more widespread throughout their organization. After this, I can’t take their organization seriously. They’re like a wrestling company in my eyes.

  • matt says:

    So, turns out I was right? Does anyone know what would happened to Seth when it’s found out this actually did happen? I’m positive no promoter would want to work with him within the states so that leaves Japan where he’s an unknown.

    ps. where’s hexi rexi? can someone get them on the fiveoz comments to eat some crow? anyone?

  • Tim says:

    Hey Matt… I would say that Seth would then be able to spend all his time at his 2 Smoothie Kings.

    I would think he would be banned…

  • Dayzah says:

    You dont really know if Seth did anything wrong , he might have actually taken him down at some point or tried too .. We only saw 14 secs and that isnt really enough too make make that kinda statement too say he would have NEVER taken him down ..

    And the whole 14 secs was Kimbo rushing him , he was in defense mode at first and landed a punch falling backwards.

  • matt says:

    Dayzah, it’s not even if he was bribed, it was the fact he made a comment and it is associated with the first time a US sanctioned event has been questioned of fight fixing. even if he didn’t accept a bribe and there wasn’t a fix, he’s now a black mark in the MMA community.

  • Jason G says:

    My guess is that EliteXc encouraged him to keep the fight standing with the knockout bonus. That’s somewhat unethical since they didn’t offer submission bonuses. On top of that it sounds like the knockout bonus wasn’t like how the ufc does ko of the night. It sounds like they told him they would give him x amount of dollars for ko’ing kimbo. Who knows what else they might’ve said to him.

  • Madmax says:

    Seth won the fight, fair and square and exposed the over hyped and wayyy overrated can, Kimbo Slice. What I’m wondering is how did Seth even get the fight as a 205er. If he weighed in at the 205 limit, how did he get a HW fight. Was there a second weigh-in AFTER the fight agreement with Slice was reached, where he weighed in at over 206? Perhaps someone can elaborate. I am under the impression you must weigh at over 206 in order to fight at HW. While I’m sure Seth gained some weight after the weigh-in (For his original Contract), was he re-weighed? Also, never heard Seth’s weight announced at Pre-fight Intros, although Slice was announced at 234.

  • Cathedron says:

    Seth’s weight was 206.5, if I recall. I distinctly remember the “.5” being at the end of his weight. If he didn’t re-weigh and they altered his weight, that could get them in more trouble than anything else.

  • Loco541 says:

    his weight was 205.5, and beings how the HW div is 206 and up, it a really good question how he did get the fight

  • Ken says:

    Screw all the regulator committees and commissions who get payed to
    tax fighters and sports throught there Laws and Permits and Licensing
    all Words for TAX. They do nothing but gain off of other peoples endevors.
    Down with the Athletic Commission telling people what they can and cant
    do. Public Oversight is all we need. Physician,Referrees,Judges can all
    be volenteer not paid position. Remove Profit based Ideology from the things
    you love.All our passions have been regulated and denomenalized into hobbies
    or pasttime by Governments and Politicians.
    REVOLUTION!!!!!!

  • tom says:

    Please stop watching the elitexc before they destroy MMA.
    It is amateur garbage.

  • serge laprade says:

    Uhh, Matt, ever hear of Bob Sapp? He was Japan’s Kimbo, except bigger (6’5, 375pds, same bodyfat as Kimbo), and even more hyped. He was on newscasts, every major talk shows, did tons of commercials and guess who put him on his ass 30 secs into the fight?
    Yup, Seth Fonzarell. So trust me the japanese know Seth.
    And guess who blew it with some cockamammie injury? Yup, he dont do limelight well….seems to find a way to self destruct.

    But say what you will about the extra curricular stuff but that was a great card.
    4 very good fights and we got to see Kimbo’s bubble burst in the most spectacular of fashions.
    The fights were good and I was entertained. That’s what counts.
    Guys like Radach, Shields and Gina are getting screwed over by the media. Arlovski was an afterthought against Billy Bob McFatty.

    I have no idea who else is their next card but Alvarez-Diaz I am waiting with anticipation and that;s all I care. C’mon, we just saw a few months ago Danna White root openly against Tito and carry a feud with him before a fight? How is that any different? The problem with MMA is that we havent allowed the Ali Act to do away with the unsavory promoter/manager/corporation president overlap. The promoter in boxing is not the WBC or WBA, athletes always end up fighting the best. But I digress…
    Please let’s not bring ethics into this. MMA a might have martial arts in it but things like respect, honor and integrity arent things that abound. The UFC is not a league or even a sport regulated by international federations, it is the equivalent of the structure of the WWE. A business run by a single person and his whims, dislikes and personal vendetttas. It is no less ethical or sleazy than others especially when you see the purses and the conditions which are much worse. It is however very successful at promoting its brand. Nothing to do with ethics.

    I think that the kind of ringside behaviour goes a long way to keeping the human cockfighting vibe going. Something for criminals, thugs and gangbangers.
    Ethics is something we dont expect from our politicians, bankers and leaders, why would we expect it from Dana White and the Shaws? The japs are HUUUUUUGE on ethics and that crap and they were taking mob money.

  • DIGITAL says:

    THIS WHOLE SITUATION IS BAD NEWS FOR ELITE XC & MMA. BY THE WAY SINCE WHEN DOES KIMBO GET DROPPED WITH JUST A JAB. I WAS DISCUSSED WATCHING THE FIGHT LIVE, & IM STILL DISCUSSED. I SEEN EVERY ENTERNET FIGHT KIMBO WAS IN, & NOT ONCE SEEN HIM GO DOWN WITH A JAB. IF YOU ASK ME THERES ALOT MORE TO THIS THEN JUST PETRUZELLI BEING ASKED TO JUST STAND WITH KIMBO & NOT TRYING TO TAKE DOWN & SUBMIT HIM.

  • saerbarnet says:

    Could someone explain how it hurts Petruzelli that he won the fight by knock out after 14 seconds to get his KO-bonus?
    It’s not like EXC would rig a fight to have Kimbo lose.

    EXC however has hurt the sport if it’s true that they did not offer him any Sub-bonus. I just don’t see how it would hurt Petruzelli? He fkin won.

  • HexRei says:

    DIGITAL on October 11th, 2008 5:58 pm

    THIS WHOLE SITUATION IS BAD NEWS FOR ELITE XC & MMA. BY THE WAY SINCE WHEN DOES KIMBO GET DROPPED WITH JUST A JAB. I WAS DISCUSSED WATCHING THE FIGHT LIVE, & IM STILL DISCUSSED. I SEEN EVERY ENTERNET FIGHT KIMBO WAS IN, & NOT ONCE SEEN HIM GO DOWN WITH A JAB. IF YOU ASK ME THERES ALOT MORE TO THIS THEN JUST PETRUZELLI BEING ASKED TO JUST STAND WITH KIMBO & NOT TRYING TO TAKE DOWN & SUBMIT HIM.

    I dunno, maybe you’re an MMA noob, or a kimbo mark?

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