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Jeremy Lappen says both ESPN & SI ‘misquoted’ him

By Zach Arnold | October 10, 2008

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One of the worst political strategies you can employ when defending yourself against serious allegations is to question the credibility of the media scrutinizing. Why? Because you are not only questioning their credibility, but also setting yourself up for a counterattack that you may simply not be able to respond to. If you do not have a centralized PR strategy that is universal in terms of your line of statements, then every contradiction and every different statement can and will be used against you.

Case in point: Jeremy Lappen told Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse today that Josh Gross’s SI article and Franklin McNeil’s ESPN article quoting Lappen making two contradictory statements regarding the bonus structure of Elite XC contacts are ‘both wrong.’

“They’re both wrong,” Lappen said. “We have given submission bonuses in the past but they’re not as common as knockout bonuses. If the question is, ‘Have we ever given submission bonuses?’ The answer is yes. But we give knockout bonuses more often. We gave Seth a knockout bonus before the fight started. That was part of the deal.”

Here’s the problem for Lappen — these two articles directly quoted him on the record. That means, Jeremy Lappen gave them the quotes. In order for Lappen’s accusation to logically hold up in saying that both Gross and McNeil are wrong, wouldn’t this imply that either writer ‘misquoted’ him (as MDS writes) or published false statements attributed to him? Charging a writer with fabricating or manufacturing inaccurate quotes is a serious charge, as you are challenging someone’s journalistic integrity.

Does Jeremy Lappen want to get into a war with Josh Gross and Franklin McNeil and challenge their integrity and credibility as fight writers? ESPN and SI are two huge media entities. To have an interview subject attack either entity for ‘misquoting’ or for fabricrating quotes is not something to be taken lightly.

Ben Fowlkes comes up with the ‘friendliest’ of defenses for Elite XC and it’s not exactly flattering, either.

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Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 8 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

8 Responses to “Jeremy Lappen says both ESPN & SI ‘misquoted’ him”

  1. Steve Barry says:


    That may not even be the biggest story in Lappen’s quote.

    Look at his last sentence.

    “We gave Seth a knockout bonus before the fight started. That was part of the deal.”

    You can’t give a knockout bonus to someone if they haven’t knocked anyone out yet!

    Unless he meant to say he offered a knockout bonus or he meant we included the opportunity to earn a knockout bonus as part of the deal, that sounds like a huge slip up to me.

    Makes a huge difference when money exchanged hands. You can’t call what they allegedly did a knockout bonus and everything’s fine and dandy. It’s still a bribe if you give a fighter money beforehand whether you tell him here’s money to stand and not take him down, or here’s money to go knock him out. Either way, you’re giving him money upfront to fight a certain way, thus attempting to influence the outcome of the fight.

  2. Dave says:

    That was the point that I was going to make.. Why would they give him a KO bonus before he even stepped into the ring?

  3. Michael Rome says:

    So at my job, there is a bonus for hours if you hit a minimum number. Surprisingly, you only get it IF YOU COMPLETE THE HOURS.

    There’s no such thing as a bonus in advance. It’s a quid pro quo, not a bonus.

  4. Jason says:

    So, Mr. Lappen has insulted me as a fan to think I’m so stupid that I will believe all of this. It’s really a lack of respect for not only Josh and Franklin, but every person he attempts to sell this too.

    This whole thing is just disgusting. Shaw, Lappen, the whole company have all suffered massive damage now. And the more Lappen speaks, the more it keeps piling on. They all need to know when to STFU.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    Whoever put the muzzle on Jared Shaw needs to put that same muzzle on Jeremy Lappen now. If it comes out in the Florida investigation that Shaw and/or Lappen had anything at all to do with paying Petruzelli not to attempt takedowns, then they should resign.

    In addition, Gary Shaw’s quotes alone in that L.A. Times article are more than enough to warrant his resignation. In his case, he was already forced out of power and now has a cushy one-year severence package that is being called a “consultant job,” but he should also be forced to resign from that because ProElite should not want to be associated with Gary Shaw in any way, shape, or form after he made those ridiculous comments to the L.A. Times.

    Quite frankly, if EliteXC does end up getting purchased by CBS and/or Showtime, and if the new owners decide to wipe the slate clean by getting rid of Jeremy Lappen, Gary Shaw, and Jared “Stephanie McMahon” Shaw, that might be the best thing for everyone involved.

  6. Michael Rome says:

    I hope Kelly Kahl fires their entire management and replaces them. It’s a disgrace, but the fighters don’t deserve to be punished for it.

  7. D.Capitated says:

    Well, the last two shows have been produced by Showtime Sports, so I’m thinking that’s the direction they’ll go in. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Gary Shaw back with some sort of authority in that case, but I would be pretty surprised to see the rest of the crew around, son included. Should be interesting to see if they keep the current matchmakers or not.


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