If Seth Petruzelli Was Paid To Keep The Fight Standing Up, Then Apparently Kimbo Didn't Get The Memo
"My original plan was to throw out push kicks, they're called teeps, have him think that I'm going to throw them to try to rush in more, and then shoot in on him, obviously... but the promoters kinda 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."
Listen to the entire interview here.
When questioned about it later, Petruzelli backpedaled a bit, saying that he was taken out of context:
"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. 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."
Somewhere between the two statements, Petruzelli is lying. It's hard to tell which it is, but it wouldn't be surprising at all if EltieXC had discussed tactics with Petruzelli, and told him what they would rather see, for the purpose of increasing Kimbo's chances of winning.
If this is true, this is yet another huge black eye for EliteXC, an organization that is already on the ropes. If they were indeed paying Petruzelli to alter his fight style to play to Kimbo's strengths, then these are some serious allegations. The Florida State Athletic Commission would have to investigate this, and it would almost certainly mean the end of EliteXC as we know it if they were to find wrongdoing.
EliteXC Jared Shaw, who will most likely be at the center of any pending investigation, claimed in a postfight interview that the event was a success, and that he had no rooting interest in Kimbo's fight. This statement seems ridiculous to anyone who saw the fight, and noticed Jared jumping out of his seat screaming at the ref to stand the fight up again, a move that would seem to benefit Kimbo Slice, since his only strength is clearly his punching.
This isn't the first time that there have been questions about Kimbo's fights being fixed. Nor is it the only allegation of this particular fight being fixed, although some are implying that it might have been fixed in the other direction.
The irony in this situation is that if EliteXC did indeed want Petruzelli to keep the fight standing, then their plan backfired tremendously. While it's likely that the fight would have resulted in a lopsided victory for Petruzelli if it had gone to the ground, the results were the same when Petruzelli stood up and exchanged punches with Kimbo. The only problem was that it wasn't much of an exchange, since Kimbo didn't throw many punches back.
If there is even a shred of truth to this, then EliteXC will have some serious explaining to do. It's obvious that Kimbo was their golden boy, and the success of the company depended partially on his continued success. But fixing fights is illegal, even if you fail at it. Hopefully, this is investigated thoroughly, and the truth comes out, whatever that is.
Fans Must Demand An Investigation of EliteXC [Bloody Elbow]