Seth Petruzelli created quite a stir following his improbable 14-second TKO against Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson during this past weekend’s Saturday Night Fights on CBS. He also added to the controversy following an interview during an interview on 104.1 FM in Orlando with the Monsters morning show.
When asked by one of the show’s hosts whether he was concerned by Slice’s standup skills and wanted to focus on getting the fight to the ground, Petruzelli indicated that he wanted to keep it standing. However, he also phrased his answer in a way that left many wondering whether EliteXC officials had offered him a bonus to keep the fight standing as opposed to taking it to the ground.
“… I knew I would do alright standing up with him,” Petruzelli said during the radio interview. “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.”
Upon being contacted by FiveOuncesOfPain.com for a followup, Petruzelli indicated that he felt his words during the 104.1 FM interview are being twisted and he categorically denied accusations that EliteXC somehow tried to influence his strategy through financial considerations.
“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.”
Messages left for EliteXC officials requesting comment for this article were not immediately returned.