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The upside for Kimbo taking a fight vs. Petruzelli was likely financial

Sunrise, Fla. — The second-guessing regarding last night’s decision to substitute Seth Petruzelli in place of a medically disqualified Ken Shamrock in the main event of EliteXC and CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” has already begun.

The main question being raised is why did Kimbo accept the fight considering there was little upside?

Well, I believe there was an upside for Team Kimbo and it was likely financial. While speaking with sources at the post-fight press conference for the event, they indicated to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Slice received a “substantial” increase over the guarantee he was scheduled to make vs. Shamrock.

For a guy who used to fight unknowns in backyards for only a few thousand dollars, accepting a fight vs. Petruzelli probably made a lot more sense once EliteXC made him a financial offer he likely couldn’t refuse.

Sources indicated to Five Ounces of Pain that Kimbo’s camp initially refused to accept a bout vs. any opponent other than Shamrock before accepting the Petruzelli deal. Whether his management was legitimately concerned is uncertain, but you’d have to be a fool to say “Sure, we’ll take the fight” right off the bat and kill your negotiation leverage. Kimbo’s team got the best offer they could for their fighter.

You can look at it from a manager’s perspective and rationalize that it was a mistake because Kimbo didn’t prepare for Petruzelli and that Petruzelli wasn’t an established fighter, thus bringing little reward in exchange for assuming a high risk. From that perspective, it’s hard to argue to taking last night’s fight was a bad decision in hindsight. But that’s also a myopic viewpoint.

There’s another perspective to consider and that is the one of the fighter.

Kimbo is 34 with multiple children. Because of his late start in MMA, his shelf-life as a professional athlete is limited compared to others. He only has so long to make so much money. The goal is to garner big paydays and if EliteXC offered him a compensation package that he was already working towards, why not take it now as opposed to later?

Slice likely found himself in an all or nothing situation: either accept the higher offer or risk coming home with nothing. While I am sure EliteXC would have compensated him for his time to some extent, I seriously doubt that they would have paid him a full purse for not fighting.

It also be overlooked that Kimbo is also a fighter who has repeatedly stated that he’s never turned down a fight and that he’ll fight anyone, anywhere. When you talk the talk, you’re going to need to walk-the-walk.

Ego and pride also come into play. A manager’s job is to protect their fighter but there is a fine line that needs to be walked. If you tell your fighter not to take a fight on short notice because it’s too dangerous, you run the risk of your fighter feeling insulted because of a perception that you don’t believe in their ability.

And let’s be honest, Petruzelli is no world beater at this point. It’s not like he accepted a fight vs. a former Muay Thai champion or jiu-jitsu black belt. At this stage of the game, Slice should be taking on fighters of Petruzelli’s caliber. Granted, it’s better to have more notice so that you have proper time to prepare, but Petruzelli was also at the same disadvantage.

The fact that Kimbo was also fighting in his backyard cannot be overlooked. Many friends and family were in attendance and wanted to see him fight. There’s a chance he felt a sense of duty to go out there and put his best foot forward in light of the bad situation since another option had been presented to him.

Was last night’s decision the right call for Kimbo? It depends on what perspective you’re looking at if from.

40 COMMENTS
  • bishop says:

    the problem is that seth is a real fighter that is not in his 40s and way past his prime. Kimbo is just another fighter trying learm mma but has had a tremendous amount pressure put on him becouse of the srteet fights seen on the net. but really pretty much any pro fighter could have beaten those guys.apparently the brains at elite xc didnt realize that.

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  • Jake says:

    He had to take the fight. It was a game of financial chicken between Kimbo’s management and EliteXC/CBS. EliteXc is in financial trouble. Successful ratings for CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” ratings have always been driven by Kimbo’s fights.

    Another ratings failure could spell the end of Saturday Night Fights and EliteXc. If they fail, Kimbo’s income is also gone. If Kimbo lost, his career is …..

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  • seth says:

    sam i really enjoy your website and everything you write but on this one theres really nothing to write about. he gopt knocked out with a “phantom punch” in 14 seconds. i mean cmon man ” 14 SECONDS”. i cant buy the arguements of not havin enough time to train for this opponent and all that jazz. if the fight had gone on for a while and been a lil back and forth where you can actually see how each guy working one another then ok the arguement applys. 14 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO EXCUSES. im not gonna get into mistakes from elite xc and all that. just looking at the fight. ok it wasnt a fight.all i ask myself is , was kimbo really that bad? i mean during the day earlier the hurricanes lost to fl st at home,great game,canes showed heart all game. get it ,ALL GAME!!!!!!!!. point being kimbo was fighting at home in front of friends and family and every wannabe yahoo who thought this guy was something.and what happens? he gets freakin whacked in 14 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!. as far as being a monumental mma letdown and all that elite xc claimed it to be(the announcing team is a whole other story), who cares? think about what it does to him. i mean this was his superbowl in his backyard and poof , 14 SECONDS later it all goes away.

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  • rob says:

    anyone see Jared Shaw last night? – – I hate to talk ill of people – but this guy is an absolute joke. I understand that his “cash cow” got beat – but who isn;t going to watch Kimbo for his “comeback fight” or whatever they market it as. The Arlovski fight went off well – and (I’m assuming) we’ll see some more cross-promotion happening – and iof that happens we are in store for some great matchups – it’s time for EXC to market actual good fighters (shields, winner of diaz/alvarez, etc.)

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  • Hexdizzle says:

    Fist off, I agree that the pressure to fight was more than likely financial.
    What I don’t understand is why there is so much hate for Kimbo? He is just another guy that was given an opportunity to make “Real” money from fighting legitimately.
    Do they hate him because he is old? or thuggish? The way I see it, it was the internet voyeur’s lust for violence that made Kimbo. Kimbo decided to legitimately train, become a real fighter. He is learning the “Art” of MMA. He is respecting everyone that fights and trains just as any other true MMA artist should do. The pros
    hate him because of the opportunities that they are not getting or didn’t have the luck of having? Its not like he planned it this way, someone offered him money to fight and he capitalized on it. This is exactly the same thing that anyone of us would do. Kimbo now trains with a legend of the sport getting the right training and management to enter into this sport in the correct fashion. If training with the right people isn’t the way then maybe we should all just go back to streets and fight. Lets see how we’ll get paid then.

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  • Barry says:

    Ya know, it was an entertaining event, free too for those of us watching it at home. We got to see some good fights. The Kimbo vs Shamrock fight was a circus act from the beginning, so that fight was always going to create controversy. With the turn of events last night the controversy continues. I’m sure Kimbo and Seth both got nice checks to fight, they may have fought with or without any financial boosts, but I would think that the money thrown around to save the night would make any of us step up.

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  • Andrew says:

    Dave Meltzer reported that was the holdout, but Honestly Sam, they should of just went with Frank Shamrock or Arlovski, who said he was prepared to step in if they needed him. I mean when Petruzelli was announced as Slice opponent, the Vegas odds quickly changed and Kimbo was a heavy underdog. He was in a no win situation no matter what. If he was going to lose, it would of been better to lose to one of those guys and be able to spin it well, these guys have over such and such fights in their careers, their former UFC champs, Kimbo is on his 5th professional fight (if you count Mercer). In my opinion that looks better than losing to a guy that was not able to make it in UFC.

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  • Patrick says:

    I think putting him up against Arlovski (win or lose) would have been good except for:

    Arlovski = Affliction, and Kimbo losing to him would lower EXC even further for casual fans and even further legitimize EXC. Wouldn’t have been a smart business move to be honest, that’s how I see it.

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  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    After last night,I LOVES me some Elite XC.
    Great card overall.
    I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Kimbo.
    Ideally they’ll just put him further down on the card,in a more legit spot.
    I still think Kenny’s cut was a botched blade job,designed to stop the fight via cut,so Kenny could get a payday and a rematch.

    Can your sources find out exactly how many chillens Kimbo has?

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  • nick says:

    Kimbo got dropped with a half assed jab. That’s just pathetic.

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  • aj says:

    the elite xc is a joke the real fights are inside the UFC i dont care what anyone says yeah the elite xc has some good fighters that would probably make more money if they came to the UFC but other than that most of the elite fighters didntr make it in the UFC and thats why there where there at now

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  • Stan the Caddy says:

    “I mean when Petruzelli was announced as Slice opponent, the Vegas odds quickly changed and Kimbo was a heavy underdog.

    This is incorrect. Kimbo was a -350’ish favorite against Shamrock and it had jumped up too around -500 at most sport books when it was switched to Seth. I got in on Petruzelli at +375. Made a great payday.

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  • Jeremy says:

    AA was not a real option as it would have required Elite picking up the tab for him and Nelson (Nelson would still have gotten paid even if his fight is pulled) and that is something they simply can’t afford. AA’s pay was reportedly seven figures.

    Frank Shamrock was not an option because
    A) He would have had to weigh at least 206
    B) He was not licensed in Florida.

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  • Batman says:

    Kimbo looked bad in this fight, he got caught and it was over. I t reminded me of the grazing chuck liddell knock out by rampage. On a side note why isn’t Rashsd Evans in the top ten rankings for light heavyweights Sam?

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  • Steve says:

    im curious as to how EliteXC (a struggling org deep in the whole) could afford to pay him a substantial amount more than what they were already paying him, which was most likely a lot also.

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  • […] the other side of the coin, here’s Five Ounces delving a bit more into the possibly less than pure reasons Kimbo stepped up. No […]

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  • Well, at least Kimbo wasn’t afraid to take the call, that’s for sure. Besides, he’s not a top 10 fighter atm, so any fights count for him now and I don’t see him declinining a fight because of a “no name” proposition. He’s just not there yet and heck knows when he will be…

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  • islandguy666 says:

    the big question is not “why did he take the fight”.. Of course he was going to fight. They could not just cancel him regardless of what else happened. Had Kimbo been forced to withdraw instead of Ken S. they would have simply canceled it that’s all. The Continuing Story of Kimbo was the draw..

    The real question that no one is talking about is… why did Kimbo bull-rush a guy he knows nothing about. Maybe he was afraid of him, afraid to get taken down? It’s someone you know nothing about. Why not feel things out a bit?

    Anyhow Kimbo is not done by a longshot. He’ll get a few more kicks at the can for sure. Maybe this is good.. takes the pressure off. Perhaps he’ll get a chance to develop a bit.. but a workable ground game is not something that you develop overnight or even in a year or two.. just ask Houston Alexander.

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  • truth says:

    People forget the UFC will come commit “circus” mma anytime it is $$$$sure money. Royce vs Matt Hughes not so long ago (not offense to Royce but this was conditioned athlete vs AARP. Coleman vs Brock, just as questionable as Kimbo vs Shamrock.

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  • Robert says:

    Coleman vs. Brock just as questionable as Kimbo Shamrock How ?

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  • razzle says:

    Getting knocked out in 14 seconds is a lot better than getting your ass beat for 15 minutes. He really was not exposed as bad as he would have been if he got beat up for a long time. Everyone gets caught. He could still make plenty of money for EliteXC if he whoops someones ass.

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  • Stan the Caddy says:

    “Getting knocked out in 14 seconds is a lot better than getting your ass beat for 15 minutes. ”

    Dude, you’re delusional. Getting ko’d by a jab from some skinny white kid is a lot more embarrassing than being in a 15 minute fight and losing a decision. He didn’t get caught from from some crazy haymaker, he got ko’d from a jab.

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  • Joey says:

    Arlovski fight went over well? The ref let him stand up out of a very very bad position for him. He was in trouble on the ground he was side mounted, and Roy was throwing kimura attempts at him, and I don’t think Andrei could have gotten up until the round was over if he made it that long. The crowd booed because they didn’t want to watch Roy’s beautiful guard pass, etc., the ref didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t want the crowd to boo. HE HAD A VERY VERY GOOD CHANCE OF SUBMITTING HIM. Nelson is a bad ass on the ground. Ridiculous

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  • Robert says:

    OK Joey why don’t you post on every topic about the horrible stand up in the Arlovski Nelson fight and get over it Referee’s make dumb decisions all the time.

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  • Joey says:

    I did it on two. I was really upset. Sorry. Ha, good eye though.

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  • Darin says:

    Steve: I’m curious as to how EliteXC (a struggling org deep in the whole) could afford to pay him a substantial amount more than what they were already paying him, which was most likely a lot also.

    I’m guessing Ken didn’t get paid (or at least not his full purse), so there should have been some money there for the 2 guys in the main event. Not sure if that would have been enough though.

    –Darin

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  • Glen McCoy says:

    Kimbo is not an MMA fighter but a thug. Over the hill Bas Ruten found a circus act and is cashing in. I dont blame him. Shamrock is past his prime.Any young well trained MMA fighter could beat either one IMO.

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  • Tim says:

    To me, Kimbo is and has been a complete overhyped joke. CBS and EliteXC need to stop selling this guy as an “MMA” fighter becuase he has NO MMA skills at all. NOW we know, that he can’t take a punch either. Come on Sam and the rest of you who are making excuses for this fraud, Seth Petruzelli weighed in at 205 and Kimbo was 234, thats a Light Heaveyweight knocking out a true Heaveyweight.

    I wanted to puke when heard (I think it was Gus Johnson) say, you have just witnessed the greatest upset in the history of MMA.

    Kimbo = FRAUD…

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Last night Yahoo’s front page had a picture of Kimbo with the headline: Kimbo exposed as farce. It’s still up there but you have to click the sports tab to see it. Last night I’m talking type in yahoo.com in your browser and that’ll show up immediately.

    What is crazy is that it’s NOT an Iole column…

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  • joe says:

    people keep talking shit about kimbo- a single father of like 151 kids. he’s trying to make a living to support his family so ease up off him. not only that, but these people saying he cant take a punch? how about u go fight him u pussies. staying behind a screen and talking like that is simple since you dont even train. Anyone can get dropped as long as they get hit in the right spot. So for the haters who know nothing, go back to eating chips on your couch or start getting some education on MMA.

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  • Tim says:

    Hey Joe, are you kidding me, If I wasn’t 50 years old and weighing in at 165 LBS I would fight that guy. Before you spew venom towards those that trash KimBLOW, you better understand what your are talking about. Whether you like it or not, KimBLOW has NO, NONE, ZERO, MMA skills. He is a brawler and nothing more. Who cares if Petruzelli was a late add, KimBLOW outweighed him by 30 lbs and KimBLOW did what he would’ve done no matter who was across the cage from him. Charge and throw haymakers. I guess that qualifies him as an MMA sensation. He is bad for the sport, period. He is what the UFC use to be, a brawler.

    Guys like KimBLOW and Houston Alexander need to get some skills before they should be recognized and passed off as MMA fighters.

    If I wanted to watch a brawler who just wants to throw punches I would watch boxing.

    As for his 151 kids, he should learn how to slip a rubber on, they work.

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  • Robert says:

    Tim besides you’re annoying overuse of the stupid nickname of KimBLOW over and over again i think maybe you have a problem with black people why else are you throwing Houston Alexander in this or bringing up Kimbo’s children.

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  • Tim says:

    Hey Robert…. Nice try guy, my wife is African America and just laughed when I told her what you said.

    I put Houston Alexander in my post because Sam also had an article on why its too early to give up on Houston Alexander that I had numerous responses to.

    I love MMA and train even at my age, so when I see guys passed off as “MMA fighters” that really have no MMA skills, I take offense to that.

    Kimbo (that make ya feel better) is a product of CBS and EliteXC, its not his fault but that doesn’t change the fact that he has no MMA skils..

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  • Tim says:

    Robert.. I almost forgot to respond to my comment about Kimbo’s kids. That was a response to Joe who said that Kimbo has like 151 kids.

    Do read all the post or just pick and chose ?

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  • big poppa says:

    First off I would like to respond to the UFC nazis out there, people like AJ. UFC is a company not another way of saying Mixed Martial Arts. MMA fighters are pretty much free to go to what ever company they want to. Granted the UFC is a house-hold name, because, (as much of a toolbag Dana White is) he is a good bussiness man. He knows who would draw a crowd without belittling the sport. Also, AJ your comment about making more money at UFC is bullshit Dana has his few ass buddies like Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes that he lets do some marketing, but other than that when a fighter signs to UFC they get paid the least out of every orginazation out there and sign over their own marketing rights. So, if the fighters get paid less why would they go to UFC?, one might ask. Well as mentioned earlier, UFC is a house-hold name. Unless you are an MMA fan you would have no Idea about some of the other orginazations. So therefor sign with the most known one, TO GET KNOWN AS A FIGHTER. Look at any MMA website or mag and see who the top ten rankings are for heavyweights, I just looked on this one and at least 6 out of 10 (that’s the majority if you did not know) are not with the UFC. The best fighters are spread out dude you need to look around you, see those six walls that’s what we can a box, you need to come out every once in a while. Also just a question back in the day if you watched Wrestling if you were a Hogan fan did you not watch him when he went to WCW, or If Tyson fights were one HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax would you only watch the ones on HBO, no you would watch, because you were a fan. Hopefully that last question will sink into some of the UFC nazi’s heads. UFC is a company not the sport alone. Now as far as the whole Elite xc and Kimbo thing goes, My thoughts are this: Shaw saw $$$$$$$ with marketing(exploiting) Kimbo, and Kimbo saw $$$$$$$$$$ for doing what he loves to do. Honestly I think Kimbo is not ready for the sport yet, but he is getting old and not every one can be Randy Couture. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Kimbo, as mentioned on this site. Who doesn’t want to see him in a comeback fight. Also I just have to mention I can’t wait for the Gina vs Cyborg fight. Finally (no offence to anyone) The cheerleader will beat up the bulldyke.

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  • Lawl says:

    Tim, you’re an idiot.

    “people keep talking shit about kimbo- a single father of like 151 kids. he’s trying to make a living to support his family so ease up off him. not only that, but these people saying he cant take a punch? how about u go fight him u pussies. staying behind a screen and talking like that is simple since you dont even train. Anyone can get dropped as long as they get hit in the right spot. So for the haters who know nothing, go back to eating chips on your couch or start getting some education on MMA.”

    Joe pretty much nailed it. You’re a sad example for a 50 year old. And surely you can submit him if you’re “MMA skills” are so superior to his.

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  • Tim says:

    Forst pussies and now calling me an IDIOT ?? Why the names guys, I am just stating what I think, my opinion, thats all. That doesn’t make me an idot, far from it.

    Kimbo got over a 1/2 million dollars for that fight, thats a crime !! All the people who paid to watch the fight and the advertisers that sponsored it should sue.

    I’m a sad example of a 50 year old, why is that ? Because I state my opinion ?

    Grow up, this is a forum where people state what they think and share what they think, to come out here and call people pussies, idiots or UFC nazi’s is childish, very immature. You all can say what you think without the name calling but I guess that makes you a tough call when all call others names. I guess you showed me a thing or two. You guys are as big a joke as Kimbo is.

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  • Tim says:

    Hey Big poppa.. I agree with you on the heaveyweight division, the UFC is not as strong with its stable of fighters in that division. But they pretty much dominate all the other weight classes, wouldn’t you say ?

    I do think the UFC has one of the best up and coming heaveyweights in Cain Velazquez, the guy is GOOD.

    As much as I think you may hate this comment, to alot of people the UFC and MMA are one in the same. I have said MMA to guys and they say what is that, when I explain it they say, or you mean Ultimate Fighting. LOL

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  • Timmy says:

    “but I guess that makes you a tough call when all call others names.”
    “You guys are as big a joke as Kimbo is.”
    So the 50 year old wants to be tough eh? Eat your words.

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  • chris says:

    joe are you on crack? pulling out the race card over this? telling people who say Kimbo is a bum that they have no clue what they are talking about? WTF? Kimbo got dropped by a half-jab, that was completely telegraphed!!! Whats even worse is the fact that the jab was thrown off of Seth’s back foot while his front foot was in the air!!!!!!! How long did you think it would take before someone dropped Kimbo with his fighting style like that? All he does is bum rush and throw power punches. He’s a circus sideshow attraction that is only around because the company is clutching at straws trying to appeal to the “casual” mixed martial arts viewer. Hes a disgrace to the business and he should stick to fighting homeless guys on the streets for ham sandwiches!!! Kimbo being black has nothing to do with him sucking…he does that on his abilities(or lack thereof). Please understand what you are talking about before you open your mouth!!

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