Petruzelli caught up in EliteXC Storm

from Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports:

Seth Petruzelli, after going from nobody to national celebrity for punching out Kimbo Slice, went on the radio Monday. He delivered a shot potentially more powerful than anything he threw Saturday.

He said his original plan against Kimbo was to get him to the ground and exploit his weak wrestling skills and submission defense. It made more sense than trading punches with a street brawler who outweighed him by 30 pounds. Petruzelli said he changed his mind though.

“The promoters kind of hinted to me, and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him,” he told “The Monsters in Orlando” radio 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.”

The quote spoke of an attempt to if not rig the fight, then make it favorable for Slice, the main star and cash cow of the EliteXC promotion.

Such an action would be a disaster for mixed martial arts as it attempts to convince mainstream audiences it isn’t scripted pro wrestling or a farcical Toughman contest. If EliteXC gave Petruzelli money to fight one way, it would open itself to all sorts of investigations.

The allegation rocketed around the country, making bigger post-fight news than pictures of Petruzelli in drag (more on that later. Needless to say, it’s been a wild couple of days for him).

EliteXC’s Jared Shaw immediately denied the fixing charge to Yahoo! Sports and fellow executive Jeremy Lappen did the same to

Tuesday, Petruzelli said he got the story confused.

“What that meant was they offer a knockout bonus, submission bonuses, fight of the night bonuses,” Petruzelli said in a phone interview. “I think it just got misconstrued. I wanted to have an exciting fight and I wanted the knock out bonus so I wanted to keep it standing.”

So did they say anything about keeping the fight off the ground?

“They just said, ‘we want to see an exciting fight no matter what happens.’ I took it as I wanted the knockout bonus.”

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