In response to Seth Petruzelli’s comments on the “The Monsters in Orlando” show on 104.1 FM in Orlando the Monday following his bout with Kimbo Slice, former EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen claimed that Petruzelli was referring to a knockout bonus, not a bribe to keep the fight standing as widely suspected.
Lappen’s claim was made two days following Petruzelli’s appearance on 104.1 FM in a report published by SI.com’s Josh Gross. In the report, Lappen confirmed a guaranteed knockout bonus was included in Petruzelli’s revised fight contract.
However, when the official findings of the Florida DPBR’s investigation into the matter were released, something caught our eye. Specifically, Executive Director Thomas Molloy’s review of the fight contract where it states, “there was nothing written in the contract to indicate Mr. Petruzelli would be compensated by fighting in a certain manner.”
In a response to a request made by MMAConvert.com to the Florida DBPR for further clarification of that statement as to whether a “knockout bonus” clause was present in the contract, Florida DBPR press secretary Alexis Antonacci stated, “There was not a ‘knockout bonus.’ There was a win bonus.” The Florida DBPR also provided MMAConvert.com with an electronic copy of Petruzelli’s revised fight contract, and we can indeed confirm that there was no clause for a “knockout bonus” included as Lappen claimed, only the $35,000 to fight and $15,000 to win declarations as Florida’s report stated.
Antonacci also confirmed to MMAConvert.com that if sufficient reason is found to warrant further investigation of this situation, a new case could be opened by the Florida DBPR.
[UPDATE 10/28/08 2:20AM ET] – It has been brought to our attention by Rob Maysey below that there are additional agreements in which the clause for the “knockout bonus” may have been present. We are currently attempting to confirm with the Florida DBPR if it is possible that the clause Lappen spoke of is present on a document they were not provided, especially given the last-minute nature of the situation. We’ll let you know what we find out.
In the meantime, if that was the case, one would think Lappen or someone from EliteXC would have provided Florida with that documentation during their investigation to back up EliteXC’s explanation of Seth’s comments. If it existed, why not provide it immediately as proof and put the whole thing to bed?