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Florida’s investigation of EliteXC unlikely to effect Nov. 8 show in Reno

The public outcry that has resulted in the Florida State Boxing Commission launching an investigation into ProElite and EliteXC’s conduct while booking a last-minute main event between Kimbo Slice and Seth Petruzelli during the Oct. 4 edition of CBS’ Saturday Night Fights is unlikely to have any effect on its next show scheduled for Nov. 8 in Reno, Nevada.

Petruzelli caused a commotion within MMA during a radio interview with 104.1 FM in Orlando following his 14-second TKO over Slice in which he intimated that he was offered a bonus to stand and strike with Slice and avoid taking the fight to the ground.

“My original plan was to throw out push kicks, have him think that I’m gonna throw them more, and then to shoot in on him, obviously,” Petruzelli told the Monsters morning show. “But 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. It was worth my while to try to stand up and punch with him.”

In light of the investigation, contacted Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Atheltic Commission, to see if the recent controversy surrounding EliteXC’s Oct. 4 show in South Florida would have any impact on its scheduled Nov. 8 show at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.

“The issue boils down to two things, generally speaking, can you make sure the fighters are using their best efforts to win the fight and you want to make sure that no one is attempting to get them to do otherwise,” Kizer said during an exclusive interview with Five Ounces of Pain. “… A knockout bonus just by itself, there’s not an issue there because a guy isn’t going to try and hold back to try to get the bonus… I don’t see a problem with offering a knockout or finishing bonus, unless you’re attempting to discourage a fighter from using his best attributes, i.e. his wrestling or grappling ability.”

We then asked Kizer if he felt it was unethical for a promotion to only offer a knockout bonus without also offering a submission bonus of equal value.

“Again, it comes down to those two things: are you giving incentive to the fighter to use less than his best efforts and did the fighter use less than his best efforts,” he began to respond. “That’s something to look at but it’s such a fact-based question that’s hard to give more of a non-general answer to that question.”

Kizer also revealed that he’s already been in contact with EliteXC officials and as of now, NSAC doesn’t have any glaring concerns about EliteXC’s ability to promote a show leading up to its Nov. 8 event.

“When I first read the story, I immediately contacted (EliteXC Manager of Fight Operations) J.T. Steele and (EliteXC Head of Fight Operations) Jeremy Lappen,” Kizer told us. “And I said ‘Guys, what’s going on here?’ So J.T. called me and explained that ‘This was a mis-quote by Seth (Petruzelli). He was over-excited. It’s not what happened.’ … Then Jeremy issued a written statement the next day on behalf of EliteXC and what J.T. had said to me was what Jeremy’s statement was about, which was that Seth was never told or induced in any manner not to use all of his arsenal against Kimbo. (He said) that it was basically a KO bonus just to sweeten the pot for him to take the fight. There was some additional money there as incentive for him to take the fight and not an incentive for him to fight a certain way.

“I am pretty satisfied with (J.T.’s) answer and Jeremy’s answer. However, the Florida commission is looking into it and they are the ones with jurisdiction and not us. I will be talking to Florida before Nov. 8 to make sure that there was nothing missing. And if they do find something, I’ll pass that on to our commissioners and we’ll see.”

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