Now that our friend Ariel Helwani is back at work covering mixed martial arts for Versus.com (Congrats Ariel!), he was able to land the first exclusive interview with Jared “$kala” Shaw since news first broke that ProElite was going under.
Ariel asked Jared all sorts of questions pertaining to EliteXC’s demise, but the most interesting part of the interview was when $kala passed all the blame to others in the organization.
Unfortunately, while I would like to say that I am hurt, that’s just the unfortunate reality of life. There’s haters in life, there’s jealousy in life. There’s people who are misinformed. I am used to feeling the brunt of hate or gratification – however somebody wants to treat me. To hear my coworkers come out and basically throw stones, slander me, and insinuate things that are not true, it showed that they didn’t know what was going on. I think everybody wants to be in a position of power. Look, the one job that I think is kind of like fantasy football or fantasy baseball to everybody is being a matchmaker, and not everybody can hold that position in a company because not everybody has an eye for talent and because if you got too many chiefs in the kitchen, there’s no cook. So, in that essence, some people felt like they wanted that opportunity, and I am sorry that when they made a statement it wasn’t heard or that they didn’t have a say in the company’s future. I did my job, and I got nothing bad to say about anybody because, at the end of the day, I can hold my head up high and know that I am real human being and I don’t need to take pot shots at others to make myself feel better or to make myself look better to future endeavors. I know what I brought to the table, and I think people from the inside who really understand the sport, I think they know what I brought to the table.
Yeah, I believe in some way I have been singled out as the bad guy. Some people want to blame me for the demise of the company, but those that were close know the truth. I haven’t gone on the record with anybody because I don’t really have anything to say. I know what I brought to the table, and I believe in karma. I believe in what goes around comes around, and those that were responsible for the demise – and it’s not one person in general – they all know it and they’ve all felt it. I don’t need to point my finger at anyone.
To be fair, no, I don’t think all the blame should rest squarely on $kala’s shoulders, and in all honesty, most of it probably doesn’t. Like he said, $kala wasn’t in control of the money at ProElite, and to my knowledge, didn’t contribute to the awful business decisions that set ProElite up for inevitable failure.
However, to say he wasn’t part of the problem isn’t accurate either. I don’t think it’s necessary to rehash anything from the past, but you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t believe much of what he says, especially where he claims he was merely in the process of getting to his seat, not jumping out of his chair and flipping out, when Petruzelli knocked down Kimbo.
At the end of the day, he really had no business being in the position he was in at EliteXC, and never should have been a public figure for the promotion. So, while he may be interested in working in mixed martial arts again, I don’t think there’s any question mixed martial arts is no longer interested in him.