Did EliteXC Attempt to Bribe Seth Petruzelli?

Seth Petruzelli. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

It’s already been a bad start to the week for EliteXC because of the demise of Kimbo Slice and unfortunately for them, it could be getting worse. In an interview this morning with Orlando, Florida’s 104.1 FM “Monsters” morning show, Seth Petruzelli discussed his quick win over Slice on Saturday night.

Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it was what Petruzelli said close to ten minutes into the interview that has caught the attention of many in the mixed martial arts community this evening. According to Petruzelli’s original comments on the show, EliteXC officials offered to pay him extra if he promised to stand and strike with Slice.

“My original plan was to use push kicks and have him think that I’m going to throw them and then rush in on him and take him down,” Petruzelli said on the show. “I have kind of an awkward style so I knew that I would do alright on the feet with him. 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.”

Would the above be considered “fixing” a fight? I’m not going to dive into it too much but I’m sure one could certainly see it that way. MMA on Tap contacted EliteXC for an official response to Petruzelli’s comments earlier this evening but didn’t return comment by the time of publication. Since then, Petruzelli has told Five Ounces of Pain what he said on the show didn’t mean what everyone else now thinks:

“What was meant to be said was that I wanted to keep the fight standing for myself because I knew that was what the crowd, the promoters, and everyone wanted to see because that’s more exciting than just taking someone to the ground,” Petruzelli said. “That was my thing only. I wanted to keep it exciting so I decided to keep it standing. It had nothing to do with anybody else. That was all me.”

Upon being asked directly whether EliteXC officials had even hinted that he could receive a bonus by keeping the fight standing, Petruzelli clarified that no such act had taken place.

“No,” he responded. “Look, even the UFC gives knockout bonuses. Everyone gives knockout bonuses. There’s knockout bonuses, submission bonuses, all sorts of bonuses. I just wanted to keep it standing because I felt I could beat (Kimbo) at his own game.”

It’s key to note that on the show, Petruzelli was asked about his original strategy going into the fight before making the comment about EliteXC and their wanting to have the fight stay on the feet for the most part. Whether Petruzelli minced words and truly meant something else might not be totally known regardless since EliteXC will likely vehemently deny any of the reports out there completely and try to kill the issue.

HT: Bloody Elbow


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