by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy of Tom Casino/EliteXC/CBS)
Just a day removed from his 14-second knockout of Internet legend Kimbo Slice, last minute replacement Seth Petruzelli stirred up controversy surrounding his addition to the main event after an appearance on a local Orlando radio show on Monday.
In the interview, Petruzelli hinted at the fact that he may have been given a bonus or incentive to only stand and trade with Kimbo in the fight, and to not take the fight to the ground.
“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,” said Petruzelli while appearing on 104.1 FM.
MMAWeekly.com spoke to EliteXC vice president Jared Shaw on Monday night. He categorically denied the report that they paid him to keep the fight standing.
“Absolutely not,” Shaw answered to questions if the allegations were true. “Whether that was something Seth was taken out of context or Seth was trying to say something different, I don’t know. What I can tell you, I was in the locker room with Seth with the contract; that did not happen.
“Why in a million years would we ask Seth to not take Kimbo down? That’s crazy. That’s all Kimbo’s been working on is the ground game. Ken Shamrock, 84 percent of his wins are submission and through the ground, so Kimbo was ready for the ground. If anybody knows Seth Petruzelli, he’s a K-1 fighter, I wouldn’t want him standing. So to say ‘don’t take him down,’ that’s ridiculous.”
Since the initial interview on the radio, Petruzelli retracted the statement when speaking to Sam Caplan at FiveOuncesofPain.com. The 14-second phenom will also join MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday night to address the win and the entire situation surrounding the fight with Kimbo Slice.
When speaking with MMAWeekly.com, Shaw also addressed the scene during the final seconds of the Petruzelli vs. Kimbo fight that saw the EliteXC executive yelling towards the referee about an illegal blow to the back of the head, that seemed to show bias in his interest in the fight.
“I may have reacted that way, and I still believe there was a hit to the back of the head, but I’m not in control of the situation,” Shaw commented. “I don’t file the protests and anything I say doesn’t really matter at that time. I’m essentially a fan like everyone else.
“But as the promoter of both sides, I have no business reacting at all. That’s why I apologized to Seth Petruzelli first and foremost. I’m excited to work with Seth; I’m excited to promote Seth.”
Shaw says his passion is always for the fighters and the heat of the moment got the best of him in the situation.
“It’s not the first time you’ve seen me go crazy about a ref’s decision and it has nothing to do with Kimbo,” Shaw commented. “Look at Jared Hamman and Poai Suganuma the first time around. It was a very quick stoppage; I was very upset. I always side with the ref at the end of the day, no matter what I think in the heat of the moment. The ref has the hardest job in the cage.”