Petruzelli disputes reports he received a bribe to keep Slice fight a standup affair

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.

44 COMMENTS
  • Jason G says:

    Wow, it’s getting shadier by the moment.

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  • LS says:

    Can you say backpeddling?!?!?!?!

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  • t0pd0g says:

    Yeah, EliteXC is so shady, its pretty damn sad…Kimbo is a disgrace to MMA…500,000 dollars…im about to puke!!

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  • MMAEruption.com says:

    EliteXC is going out of business and I’m happy about it. Hopefully, their guys will find spots in other organizations. Petruzelli is full of it. He gave the secret away, he can’t take it back.

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  • Brad says:

    I don’t buy that for one second. There is no chance in hell that the only thing he was worried about in the biggest fight of his life was being entertaining. He has clearly said multiple times that his original plan was to take Kimbo down.

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  • Ruben says:

    What is anyone surprised Seth beat Kimbo? 10-4 with 9 (t)kos and 3 submissions. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to truly know who the favorite was.

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  • Nick Merra says:

    What an idiot.!!!!! He should have kept his mouth shut if in fact there was a “bribe or cover up”. Petruzelli will never be approached for another big fight and he has brought about unwanted scrutiny on EliteXC. If I was EliteXC I would distance myself from this guy ASAP!!! You come off the biggest win in your career and you go spouting off at the mouth and ruin it. I love MMA as it is a great sport, but some of these guys have some serious brain cell damage. Hey, did anyone catch Petruzelli pick his nose for the CBS camera in his dressing room before he started his walk for the cage? What was THAT all about?!?!?!?!?!?!

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  • egad81 says:

    I think he ment he WAS getting undercard money but then they stepped up with MAIN EVENT type money and he figured it would be worth the chance of a KO.

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  • Simon Cason says:

    “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.”

    No “what was meant to be said” is just that. EX/C does some really shady shit sometimes and they proved it by lying and saying the fight was ready to go at the start of the show even though the fight wasn’t signed until about an hour before it happened. Why even take chances like that. Frank offered to fight Kimbo and gets denied and we get 2 different stories on why it didn’t happen. Frank said EX/C blocked him after getting sactioned while EX/C said Frank never got sanctioned. EX/C wanted to best chance at a win for Kimbo. Fighting Frank doesnt produce that chance. They thought fighting Seth would give them the best opportunity. Shows how little they know. Seth is from hammerhouse. If EX/C thought they could get someone from hammerhouse to lay down for Kimbo of all people, it shows how ignorant they really are and that they shouldn’t even be in the MMA buisness.

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  • jimbo says:

    the way i see it is, in the very .. british sense, kimbo got… knocked ..the fuck out, and thats it, petruzelli stepped in like a man, dealt with his bizz and got paid, and as for him sayin his words got twisted . there is a very great possibility that is a fact becouse you are americans thats what you do, you twist things, hate me as much as you want give your usual dumb disses i am used to it, and you all have you a nice day now :) post script::: im glad im british, fair play seth, and bad luck kimbo, better luck next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Jorge says:

    Wow there is some damage control going on with that change. Elite XC isn’t quite as good at spin doctoring as the UFC.

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  • matt says:

    Couple of things.

    1. the UFC comment. The UFC offers bonuses, not bribes. And they offer them for sub of the night and fight of the night as well.

    2. Not a single org should allow seth to fight. He’s a dirty fighter as far as being able to be bought off.

    3. I’m not surprised by the fact that EXC offered a bribe, look at any of Kimbo’s fights. Bo Cantrel taps from 1 punch, Tank Abbott KO’d by a phantom punch, the James Thomson debacle. Then last night you see Jared Shaw freaking out at the ref and then he says there should be an overruling of the fight? FUUUUCK.

    SOONER THESE GUYS ARE OUT OF BUSINESS THE BETTER.

    They have great fighters on their roster and if Kimbo was brought along correctly he could eventually be worthy of his pay, but EXC needed a cash cow and he was it. When they finally fold (and I don’t imagine it taking much longer after the investigation of fight fixing) then the UFC will snag up Jake Shields, Calvacante, Nick Diaz (he’s always entertaining), Antonio Silva (if he win’s his appeal), Brett Rodgers, and Robbie Lawler. There are a bunch of other fighters that would be great additions as well to either the UFC or WEC but in reality there is no place in the sport for this promotion. I’m calling shenanigans on their entire history.

    PS. Sam, please tell me you aren’t associated with Pro-Elite as I would be extremely disappointed.

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  • Rich S. says:

    ooooo, it looks like he got YET ANOTHER BONUS just to shut the hell up about the underground bribery..

    way to cover that one up guys..

    [sarcasm] Don’t Worry.. No one thinks Petruzelli was paid to stay standing.. He was OBVIOUSLY telling the truth the second time around [/sarcasm]

    man…
    most of the people that view this website HATE EXC.. if not all of the people..
    I’ve never been one of those people..
    I’ve never really had a problem with EXC..
    I mean, sure Mauro Renallo is quite possibly one of the most annoying people to graze the face of God’s green earth..
    and sure i don’t like seeing strippers dancing ever so awkwardly when my favorite fighter is making his way to the ring..
    but these are things i can put aside..
    I AM watching for the fights after all..

    but now..
    EXC, the Shaws, and all the little shady business and super advertising in between is REALLY starting to infuriate me..
    these guys are so blatantly corrupt..
    they can’t cover anything up..

    You have Jared screaming when he sees his baby losing.. and then he talks about overturning the fight or having the tape reviewed2 just because of one blow to the back of the head..

    NEWSFLASH: Jared, one blow = warning, not a standup! :NEWSFLASH

    Then you have Seth trying to dispute what he originally said before they did what ever it was they probably threatened him with..

    this is crazy..

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  • HexRei says:

    I’m sorry, but this is not as bad as you guys are saying it is. What he said is:

    “… 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.”

    I don’t know how this can be interpreted as any way other than during negotiations, they told him they’d like to see a standup fight. Nothing really shady about that, he doesn’t actually say they gave him extra money to make it that way. Just that when they took him on, they sad they’d like to see the fight on the feet.

    You really think Dana has not told a fighter what kind of performance he likes to see when negotiating a contract? Or maybe you just prefer he hand it over as bonuses after the fact (BEST KO)?

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  • HexRei says:

    jesus people are so ready to buy any conspiracy theory. its painful to observe.

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  • Robert says:

    Organizations pay fighter bonuses unreported to the athletic commission all the time.That is why Dana White always says he hates talking fighter contracts and pay especially unreported bonus’ for example when Jardine beat Liddell and he was grilled about Jardine only making “14,000′ dollars for the fight and Dana stating he would be taking care of.Those figures are not supposed to be made available to the public.

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  • HexRei says:

    matt on October 6th, 2008 9:22 pm
    2. Not a single org should allow seth to fight. He’s a dirty fighter as far as being able to be bought off.

    This is laughable. A promoter telling a fighter they like to see a fight stay standing up is not the same as being bought off. And not the least of which, the fight lasted 14 seconds. For all you know Seth was going to shoot the first time he felt Kimbo’s gloves hit him. You are blowing a somewhat vague and broadly interpretable remark out of propertion and making a huge assumption along the way.

    3. I’m not surprised by the fact that EXC offered a bribe, look at any of Kimbo’s fights. Bo Cantrel taps from 1 punch, Tank Abbott KO’d by a phantom punch, the James Thomson debacle. Then last night you see Jared Shaw freaking out at the ref and then he says there should be an overruling of the fight? FUUUUCK.

    Ok, Cantrell tapped from almost no punch at all- he was just plain scared. But if you think Tank was paid off you’re on drugs. Tank was doing his best to beat Kimbo, and he didn’t go down from a “Phantom” punch, he was knocked down like three times, took probably eight solid hard punches before going down. Have you even seen that fight? He was reeling around the octagon like a drunk for the whole last twenty seconds.

    And Thompson- if you want to accuse Miragliotta of being paid off, that’s your prerogative I suppose. Nevermind that he’s been judging and reffing UFC events practically since the beginning. Nope, that bad call MUST mean EXC paid him off. Riiiiiiight.

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  • matt says:

    I’ve seen every Elite XC fight and also was at the newark show (first CBS show) the attitude in the air was that there was something fishy going on (from the carano/young fight where they stopped the fight for cuts under the eyes to the kimbo fight).

    Seth said it was in his best interest to keep the fight standing, how can you not interpret that in any other way besides a pay off. I understand people like to keep the idea of a clean sport in their minds, but this is just stinky. From shaw yelling at the ref to seth’s comments, you really can’t argue against the idea that something was up. And if Shamrock would have fought it would have been a KO by phantom punch (his “trip” when shooting in against franklin comes to mind).

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  • HexRei says:

    I believe Shaw does everything he can to influence just short of the illegitimate. He can yell at the ref all he likes, that’s not against the rules.

    I don’t doubt he told Petruzelli what he would like to see. But his pay wasn’t going to be conditional on whether he followed that, so you can’t really call it a payoff. Petruzelli never said he actually agreed based on Shaw’s suggestion, and he never says he got more money after agreeing to Shaw’s suggestion than if he hadn’t.

    Definitely the Shaws are terrible promoters, but I don’t think they did anything worth investigation by a commission (yet) and I certainly think Petruzelli is beyond reproach since he kicked EXC’s golden boy’s ass- if he was working for EXC, the plan failed.

    And bottomline, I’m not sure I think that a promoter telling a fighter what kind of fight he wants to see is or should be against the rules. Dana definitely makes it clear he wants to see constant action, i’m sure he says so prior to taking a fighter on, and he certainly cuts fighters who don’t provide that. What’s the difference? That we all like to see constant action, so its no big deal to issue an order like that? As the guy running the promotion, I think he is free to express a preference for whatever type of fighting he happens to favor *Shrug*

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  • matt says:

    I guess for me hearing seth’s radio interview it was enough for me to see this as a complete fraud.

    also

    this isn’t sherdog, this is a blog where prior to 3 months ago everything was civil. you don’t need to be an asshole.

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  • HexRei says:

    at what part was I an asshole? where I asked you if you even saw the Tank fight? Sorry, your description of his loss as a “phantom punch” was completely wrong, it was a legitimate question, although I actually meant more “Were you paying attention” or “did you forget what you saw”.

    or if you meant the part where i said that blackballing seth as a dirty fighter was laughable? well, it is.

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  • Joey says:

    Yay, Hex! We agree wholeheartedly on a subject . . . well said, on every one of your posts in this thread.

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  • HexRei says:

    thanks joey :) even the devil and god probably agree every once in a while.

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  • JB says:

    Just before the show started I mentioned to one of my friends,”I bet you the payed Shamrock off to stand with him” and here you go Seth lets the cat out of the bag.I hope EXC is shut down and SOON!There is always other promotions for the fighters to go. Who’s to say that all of the promotions are not corrupt like we see in EXC but no fan wants the corruption right in front of our face like this.

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  • YES, I got paid to stand and Knock Kimbo the f out!

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  • Why so Serious says:

    There is no doubt that he was implying that he was at least influenced by Shaw.

    “They didn’t want me to take him down, let’s just put it that way.”

    To me this says the didn’t just float the idea to him “let’s just put it that way” suggests there was more to it. This is corruption, and to all those who feel that Bo Cantrell was scared and that is why he tapped, please it was a pay off, I have never ever seen a fighter do that ever. so why would a pro who was experienced feel so scared of an unproven rookie. Scared! get your head out of the sand, then there was the stopage against Thomson and Shaw objecting to Kimbo’s loss. Where there is smoke there is fire and in this case there is so much smoke MMA is being choked to death.
    What a backfire Jared…HA HA HAAAA Kimbo lost and then this HA HA.

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  • Robert says:

    I don’t understand all of the people wanting EliteXC to fail.If your an MMA fan are you telling me you don’t like seeing fights on CBS for free on a saturday night instead of paying $39.95 or 44.95 or is it just that your a fan of Dana White and only the Ufc fights interest you people or what.

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  • HexRei says:

    Why so Serious on October 7th, 2008 2:25 am

    There is no doubt that he was implying that he was at least influenced by Shaw.

    “They didn’t want me to take him down, let’s just put it that way.”

    To me this says the didn’t just float the idea to him “let’s just put it that way” suggests there was more to it.

    Yes, why not read WAY WAY into that. Who could possibly imagine that Seth who is a self-proclaimed “goofball homo” (that’s a quote) who has about a zillion of the most ridiculous pictures of any fighter ever floating around on the web right now could possibly overstate something for comic effect. Nevermind that he also said later that is wasn’t that serious, and that he never actually made and concrete statements supporting your assumption at all. Let’s just pretend it’s true and go from there!

    This is corruption, and to all those who feel that Bo Cantrell was scared and that is why he tapped, please it was a pay off, I have never ever seen a fighter do that ever. so why would a pro who was experienced feel so scared of an unproven rookie. Scared! get your head out of the sand,

    Um, yeah. I dunno if you noticed but Cantrell was on a 4-loss win streak and had a 10-10 record coming into that fight. He hasn’t fought since. Your “experienced pro” was a massive loser whose biggest win was Cal Worsham, who sucks ass. He was exiting the sport, knew it, wanted a payday and didn’t want to spend a week in the hospital for it. That proves absolutely nothing about his taking a fall- occam’s razor- the guy just wanted his guaranteed pay without the lengthy physical therapy.

    then there was the stopage against Thomson and Shaw objecting to Kimbo’s loss. Where there is smoke there is fire and in this case there is so much smoke MMA is being choked to death.

    So you are saying Miragliotta was paid off? I mean why not just come out and say it?

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  • HexRei says:

    Ok, I had a couple of typos in the first paragraph and the “4-win streak was obviously supposed to mean “4-loss streak”. but you get the point.

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  • JollyDV says:

    Could it be that Seth is just overwhelmed. Maybe he is so full of himself right now that he was being boastful or “talking big” and in doing so, made inferences that were not really true. I doubt that he has done too many interviews which IMO means he is not prepared or prepped to answer some of the questions. He was probably so high on himself that he didn’t realize how his statements would come across to the listeners.

    I am sure the promoters took him to the side and said, hey, this is Kimbo, our cash cow. We need an exciting fight! We want the crowd to go wild. When fights go to the ground it is not as exciting for the general fans watching. So do what you can to make it exciting. Seth could have processed that pep talk from the promoter in his own way, and suffering from a bad case of Big Head he relayed it his way during the interview. Only to realize later that he had put his foot in his mouth.

    I don’t believe that if he was told by the promoter to keep the fight standing and that he would be financially reimbursed that he would be dumb enough to go to an interview and tell everyone. No way.

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  • tylerdante69 says:

    Elite XC is far from done.

    That night was the highest viewers compared to their last 2 on CBS.

    And the next Kimbo fight, EVERYONE will still watch even the HARDCORE UFC fans.

    But IF KIMBO loses again, then you can SAY Kimbo and Elite XC are done.

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  • Joe Mastronardo says:

    this sport is a fraud. no kidding the bouts are fixed. anyone with two eyes and half a brain could tell you that from watching MMA fights. UFC, Elite XC, Pride…all fixed for the outcomes that will generate the most revenue for future fights.

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  • HexRei says:

    joe, you are seriously retarded.

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  • dpk says:

    At a minimum the Florida State Athletic Commission, or any other athletic commission that EliteXC wants to work with should launch an investigation, and get all of the parties on record here. If this doesn’t get settled then it could fester into Kimbo’s next fight, and all of Elite’s future shows. Imagine next time a fighter doesn’t follow the conventional wisdom in his strategy for a fight, it is going to be all over the blogs and news, with speculation that they were tainted. If anyone from ProElite were found to have made that a negotiating point, then they should be fired immediatly.

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  • HexRei says:

    agreed dpk. although i doubt the investigation will find any wrongdoing it would be good for EXC to be vetted on this incident (and perhaps it would put a little scare into them about their shady tactics)

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  • Rich S. says:

    Joe Mastronardo, seriously… Have you been scared by the WWE or something?
    The only bout I’ve ever heard of being fixed was in boxing [Roy Jones, Olympics]

    That statement is so far beyond ludicrous that i’m having trouble finding the words to make my arguement..

    It’s obvious that submission victories and KO victories aren’t fixed..
    and the ONLY time a judge’s decision is messed up is when Ole’ Cecil is on the clock..

    and Hex,
    generally i agree with you..
    but right now, it seems like you WANT there to be nothing shady about this..
    you can’t hide from the facts..
    If what Petruzelli originally said was true [which, if it wasn't, he had no reason to something like that in the first place, so i think it is] he was “influenced” to stand up and trade..
    now, i’m sure “influenced” doesn’t mean a friendly smile and a high five..

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  • HexRei says:

    I am an occam’s razor kinda guy, and I am willing to give the org the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. it seems to me that a lot of people WANT there to be bribery going on here. I mean, all we have is one extremely vague statement from a guy who has about a zillion of the goofiest pictures of any fighter ever on the net and describes himself as a “goofball homo” despite not actually being gay.

    bottomline, even if the worst possible scenario is true, a promotion telling a guy they’d like to see a standup fight is not against commission standards as far as I know, which is probably why the commission has opted not to investigate.

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  • darkmetal says:

    You have to hand it to Petruzelli for actually saying ANYTHING about this, as I am sure that this was the same deal that they threw at James “Colossus” Thompson, almost resulting in Kimbo being beaten in that fight before Gorganzolla made a quick stop to save him.

    Can EXC release him? I don’t know if they dare. Why? Because the UFC will immediately sign him and be beaten by most of the fighters in his weight class.
    This will prove that Kimbo was and is, as we have been saying for some time, nothing more than a well cultivated sideshow act.

    Congrats to Seth for finally putting one nail in Kimbo’s MMA coffin.

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  • HexRei says:

    But he said it was still his decision to stand up…

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  • Parapraxis says:

    Man HexRei, I’m glad you were posting here as a voice of reason.
    This whole situation is laughable. Conspiracy theories, pay-off, FIXED fights? give me a damn break.
    Personally, I think Kimbo is very talentless.
    Matches were picked strategically so he could win. However him losing was an inevitable outcome. It was in suprising fashion, but inevitable.
    Thompson was injured, Tank is washed up, Bo is…who exactly? and Shamrock was lined up to lose. Maybe he knew that and that’s why he trained so hard. He has lost 7 of his last 8 fights, Ken’s last win was in 2000 and fircken’ 4.
    The promoters thought that Seth standing would increase Kimbos chances…it didn’t work. Luckily it is only with Kimbo (who was an instant money maker for them) that this occured.
    This is not the first and definately not the last orginization that will try to raise an average competetor to above-average heights.
    EliteXC should learn from this llesson.

    Oh and while you’re at it EXC, give the girls 5 minute rounds. The Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold fight was probably the best of the night aside from Alrovski vs Nelson.

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  • Unquestioned Answers says:

    Its obvious, Someone got paid…OFF

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  • SOCIAL MENACE says:

    THE POINT IS… KIMBO WAS GONNA LOSE! NOW IF ELITE XC THOUGHT THEY COULD MAKE THE ODDS A LITTLE BETTER BY KEEPING THE FIGHT STANDING UP TO ENTERTAIN THE VIEWERS.. IT DOESN’T MATTER! SETH STILL TOOK HIM OUT IN 14 SECONDS. UP.. DOWN.. SIDEWAYS… WHATEVER. SETH IS A BAD ASS AND SOONER OR LATER A STAR GETS ITS TIME TO SHINE!!
    YOU CAN HATE ALL YOU WANT BUT MOST OF YOU ARE SCARED TO EVEN SPEAK TO A PERSON AS SCARY AS KIMBO SLICE.. LET ALONE FIGHT HIM! WELL SETH DID… AND WON! SETH IS A GREAT PERSON & A GREAT FIGHTER AND THAT’S WHY SOCIAL MENACE CLOTHING HAS HIS BACK!!!

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  • Why so Serious says:

    Hex Rex please if you can,t (don’t want to) see it I’m not gonna try and open your eyes except to say LOTS OF PEOPE ARE CALLIG FOR AN INVESTIGATION!!!!!! why you may ask CUZ THE WHOLE THING STINKS OF CORRUPTION!!!!!! jez, no conspiracy theories here fella just common sense. Of all the talk about it you just turn around and say “no, no, no your all wrong, there is no corruption”. Why are you such an expert on what happened, do you know so much more than NEARLY EVERYONE ELSE!!!! If you are so sure please inform me of why cuz the Kimbo thing stinks and you are an almost lone voice (for a reason) saying that it’s all clean. If you think that corruption isn’t happening in MMA talk to Rampage and other ex-Pride fighters who were offered “bonus money” to lose in a certain way. Corruption in MMA isn’t a “conspiracy theory ” it is a fact!. After nearly all Kimbo fights there is a reason to question events, so like I said where there is smoke there is fire. You cannot deny that Kimbo has a lot of controversy surrounding his wins, why? cuz weird stuff happens in Kimbo fights.
    Kimbo is a fighter, but not a good one and they NEED him to win, being the main attraction and all, so they ,in my opinion, try to make sure he does win.

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  • Tom says:

    If i’d be the promoter, i’d most certainly hint to the fighter that i’d like to see the fight to be a stand up fight. I fail to see the problem with that. Now, if money is offered for certain kind of fighting, well… I still don’t see a problem. Just as well they could have said in the first place ‘fight standing up if you want this contract, otherwise we’ll get another guy’. No need to pay any bonuses. It wouldn’t even make any sense. Why would they even want Seth to fight if he’s not gonna co-operate.

    I mean the first impression is that he got paid to fight in a certain way, but i just don’t see what’s the problem. Clearly the outcome wasn’t fixed.

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