The ever-evolving story between EliteXC and the controversy surrounding the Seth Petruzelli-Kimbo Slice fight keeps growing with major media outlets picking up on the alleged payoff story more and more each day.
The other problem with the entire situation is the ever-changing story that continues to flow from both the fighter and the promotion.
Originally, on Monday, Petruzelli appeared on a local Orlando radio station making the following statement:
“The promoters kind of hinted to me and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him,” Petruzelli said on “The Monsters in Orlando” 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.”
Since that time, Petruzelli has recanted that statement saying that his comments were misconstrued.
“All it was, was a knockout bonus that I just didn’t say it was a knockout bonus,” said Petruzelli while appearing on MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday. “The UFC offers that, they offer submission bonus, they offer for fight of the night, and all I was saying was that I wanted to take the knockout bonus and not take him down.
“So it kind of got misconstrued as me saying that they wanted me to just stand up to get it, but that was just all me saying I wanted to try to get the knockout bonus.”
EliteXC Head of Fight Operations, Jeremy Lappen, categorically denied the original report and released a definitive statement from the promotion about the situation with Petruzelli.
“Seth Petruzelli was offered a fee to fight Kimbo Slice, plus a knockout bonus, a common practice throughout the industry. EliteXC organizes and promotes fights. We have not… do not… and will not suggest or dictate fighters’ strategies or tactics. How the fighters perform in the cage is at the sole discretion of the athletes involved.”
So Petruzelli and Lappen both agree that it was a knockout bonus that prompted him to stay standing with Kimbo Slice in the main event of CBS Saturday Night Fights, right?
“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?” said Lappen in an interview with Franklin McNeil of ESPN.com on Thursday.
When asked directly on Tuesday if EliteXC offers submission bonuses, Lappen responded by saying, “We have given submission bonuses, but our bonuses that we tend to give are knockout bonuses.”
So which story is true? Was Petruzelli offered a higher bonus for a knockout? Was he offered a submission bonus at all? The answer may never be known for sure, although after the onslaught of controversy, the state of Florida is now opening an investigation into the whole situation.