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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

We want real answers, not fanboy interviewing questions

By Zach Arnold | October 7, 2008

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This is pathetic:

PRO MMA: Now I know a lot has been made about the fact that EliteXC supposedly paid you not to take Kimbo down. Now I’ve read the comments you had made and it seemed like your words were severely twisted around. Can you go ahead and set the record straight for everyone: Were you paid to keep the fight standing?

Seth: No, I wasn’t paid to keep the fight standing. The only reason I said that is that it was a knockout bonus which I wanted to make, so I wanted to keep it standing. It kind of got misconstrued that they wanted me not to take him down, but it was a knockout bonus, they would have paid either one of us for the knockout bonus.

On a predictable, but disheartening note, Ivan Trembow points to comments made by the Florida State Athletic Commission. Why have a commission regulating an event at this point then?

More comments on this situation from MMA Convert and Fightlinker.

Other articles:

Dave Meltzer today:

I and others had heard similar stories regarding both Petruzelli and Shamrock. EliteXC has denied these allegations. One important note is that, whether these claims are accurate or not, paying a guy to keep a fight standing, while not true to the spirit of MMA, is not “fixing a fight”. Obviously the idea would be that Kimbo has a better chance to win if the fight stays standing. If Petruzelli got paid to lose Saturday, sure, that would be a fix. But whether he got paid to stand or not, he still knocked the guy into next week.

Josh Stein:

The notion that this was fixed comes from the home of the tinfoil hat conspiracy theory.

Was Petruzelli encouraged to fight standing up with Kimbo? Absolutely.

Was he paid extra to stand? It looks like it.

While it looks shady, we already knew that EXC was running a shady business. No secrets here.

Tomer Chen:

I think it’s funny that people are trying to spin the implication of his remarks with regards to the positioning of whether or not its fight fixing. Given that, in the past, legendary boxers like Sam Langford, ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson and Jack Dempsey were told by promoters such as ‘Tex’ Rickard to carry opponents to allow for enough film to be filmed (in order to run movie house programs since a KO 1 would not be enticing) or to try and protect their guys’ image/give them a chance to get a gift decision if the better fighter was to let it ride out, it seems a bit comical to suggest that eliminating the takedown/ground element of a fight for a bribe isn’t trying to ‘stack the deck’ and essentially fix the fight towards your guys favor (at least in theory; hell, some fights that were supposed to be dives turned into legit contests, most notably Battling Siki-Georges Carpentier).

And even if Petruzelli didn’t take a bribe, as far as I know, you still can lose your license for not reporting it to a commission. A famous case was Rocky Graziano being offered a bribe by some mobsters, turning it down (although many suggest he had several mob fixed wins during his run to the Middleweight crown) and then was indefinitely suspended in NY and several other states for failing to report a bribe attempt.

Seth Petruzelli is now getting fight offers from Japan. That same article also claims that Petruzelli wants to fight Tito Ortiz.

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “We want real answers, not fanboy interviewing questions”

  1. David says:

    At least for the fighters health, to answer that question?

    Which is funny because Diaz looks fine to me.

  2. Chris says:

    Well here’s what I don’t get. This is Seth’s original comments as quoted on during the Monsters in the Morning Show in Florida

    “I knew I would do all right, actually, standing up with him, 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.”

    A lot of guys that I know think that Seth got paid extra specifically to not take Kimbo down. Even in his original comments he says they hinted at it. Never does he say that they asked him to do something like that. Then on an interview with FiveOuncesOfPain recently Seth 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.”

    From what I can see Seth saying and what people are making out of it it’s my opinion that his words did get twisted in the media a little bit. Overall the interview is pretty damn good though. I didn’t know he was getting death threats, that’s craziness!

  3. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I have some issues with Meltzer’s comment there.

    You don’t have to have a quid pro quo (Seth actually losing the fight) to have an illegal act here. If they intended to bribe him, then there was a crime, even if he didn’t go through with the contract (entering a contract to do something illegal is illegal, and the contract is unenforceable since it’s for something illegal anyway).

    Even if there wasn’t any money traded, there could still be a bribe, as long as there was an implicit understanding between the two parties that following through on the “sort of a hint” would result in unstated but anticipated benefits down the line.

    What EliteXC apparently didn’t understand is that whatever they thought they were offering, Seth thought that he could get more by winning from someone else.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    In addition to the Pro MMA interview, I can’t believe Sam Caplan asked Seth Petruzelli, “So all of the conspiracy theorists going around demanding an investigation and accusing you of having accepted a bribe are crazy?” He should know better than that.

    Questioning the words that Petruzelli said himself is akin to being a conspiracy theorist?

    Petruzelli’s continued revisionism of the words that came out of his own mouth— not anybody else’s words— continues to defy logic.

    In the interview with Sam Caplan, Petruzelli makes it seem that it was a very clear-cut case of wanting to collect a knockout bonus, and that he said exactly what he meant in the original interview.

    Of course, if that were the case, he wouldn’t have had to say in his original interview that EliteXC official “kind of hinted” to him that he should keep the fight standing. When the UFC or any other organization pays Knockout Bonuses, they don’t have to “kind of hint” about it.

    Even putting aside that particular point, Petruzelli said in the same interview with Sam Caplan that there was also a Submission Bonus that was for the same exact amount as the Knockout Bonus.

    If that’s the case, why would Petruzelli have ever said in the first place that it was “worth his while” financially to try to stand and trade with Ferguson instead of trying to take him down and submit him?

    Furthermore, why would Petruzelli have ever said, “They didn’t want me to take him down — let’s just put it that way.” Those are his words. Not anyone else’s words. Not the words of some crazy “conspiracy theorists.” What on earth would make Petruzelli think that if they offered him a Submission Bonus that was identical to his Knockout Bonus?

    Furthermore, Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez are credible journalists. When they report that they heard before Petruzelli ever made his statements that one or more EliteXC officials were trying to pay Shamrock and/or Petruzelli to stand and trade with Kimbo, they have no reason to lie. Petruzelli does. Jared Shaw does. Anyone else directly or indirectly involved with the situation does.

  5. Rob Maysey says:

    I have to disagree with Meltzer’s conclusion. The sport is “mixed martial arts” not “boxing with open fingered, 5 oz. gloves.” Paying guys to stand makes a mockery of the sport, and is a fraud on the public. That isn’t any more acceptable.

    And while not “fixed” entirely, the integrity of the match is certainly compromised. If an elite pitcher in major league baseball was paid to only throw fastballs–and disregard his out pitch, isn’t that an attempt at “fixing” the outcome?

  6. Smithson says:

    Interesting read: The guy who runs Yahoo Sports mentions ramped-up MMA coverage among the reasons for Yahoo’s success, in a piece written for newspaper sports editors:

  7. Fightlinker says:

    Everyone is also taking a myopic view of Seth’s statement. Go back an extra minute and hear where he specifically said his plan was to take Kimbo down, and then after that he says the famous quotes

  8. Brandt says:

    After thinking about this long and hard (I know, bad choice of words with the Fightlinker guys on here, right? haha) I don’t see anything horrible coming out of this in the long run. MMA isn’t in the same league as the Olympics, the NFL, or most mainstream sports. Petruzelli will continue to twist his words a bit, EliteXC will deny everything, and there will really be no proof if this goes in front of a judge.

  9. Dedwyre says:

    Does anybody remember when Renato Sobral was on Fight Opinion Radio, and Jeff Thaler was asking for his side of the story regarding his choking out David Heath? Then he pussyfooted around the story about Babalu’s arrest at a nightculb from just before that incident? If he’s allowed to dance around the issues and ask friendly, non-confrontational questions to fighters about serious accusations, what’s wrong with Pro MMA doing it?

    I’m not trying to defend Petruzelli or the Pro MMA people, I’m just saying it seems hypocritical make a big deal about this type of thing when it’s been done on this site previously.

  10. Asa says:

    Dedwyre, not having heard the interview, I have to ask: Did they lob questions that were framed to prove him innocent of the (fan/critic) charges against him? Or did they try to delicately approach the subject with a (apparently) violent sociopath? Or both? Or something altogether different.

    I’m honestly curious, because the former is rather odd and what seems to be going on here, while the latter seems incredibly common.

    And Trembow, you knocked it out of the park.

  11. Josh Stein says:

    Zach, thanks for throwing my little comment up on the site. As always, a great and entertaining piece.

    That first question is absolutely retarded, and it reminds me that anyone can do a piece on the internet.

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