It’s been over two years since the fateful night that Seth Petruzelli stepped in on hours notice for Ken Shamrock to take on backyard brawler Kimbo Slice. As most of you remember, Petruzelli stopped Kimbo seconds into the fight and subsequently blew down EliteXC’s house of cards with some extremely questionable comments on an Orlando radio show that came to be affectionately known as “Standgate.”
For those that didn’t follow MMA at the the time, Petruzelli inadvertently implied, though later denied, that EliteXC officials paid him not to take Kimbo to the ground. It created a media firestorm that scared CBS away, and ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC crumbled under the weight of it’s $55 million debt with a broadcast deal to save them.
They were fun times, but no one ever found any smoking gun evidence that EliteXC paid Seth Petruzelli to stand with Kimbo Slice. Well, Jared Shaw, son of former EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw formerly known by his rapper persona $kala and one of EliteXC’s matchmakers at the time, went on Sherdog radio with Jeff Sherwood last night and spilled the beans about all the behind-the-scenes drama that took place at EliteXC. And yes, the topic of Standgate came up. Shaw vehemently denied that Petruzelli was paid to stand with Kimbo, however, he claims there a twist to that story that’s never been revealed publicly until now.
As you may recall, it was reported the night of the fight that Ken Shamrock’s adopted brother Frank Shamrock offered to step in for Ken, who sustained a mysterious cut earlier that day, and fight Kimbo in the main event. Here’s the twist: Shaw not only confirmed that in the Sherdog interview, he also alleged that Frank Shamrock, who had a financial interest in EliteXC, offered to take a dive. Transcription via CagePotato:
“I don’t really have a tell-all book. I don’t want to make any more money in MMA. I don’t really care what happens in my name. There was nothing fixed about that fight. I could give two shits if it went to the ground. Ken Shamrock was going to go to the ground. I was scared of this guy’s K-1 legs. There was no fix, but there was an offer of a fix that night. Should I get some police protection after this….no, just kidding. Frank Shamrock pulled me in the back of a room, turned the music up and offered to work the fight against Kimbo Slice. I almost threw up in my own stomach because I had thought for the past six months prior to that that he and Cung Le had fixed their own fight unbeknownst to me again, because I just can’t understand why Frank Shamrock didn’t go to the ground against Cung Le. I really don’t. I still don’t, but then my stomach made me throw up in my own mouth and I had to swallow it. I was like, ‘Uh, Frank, I don’t fix fights.’ And he was like, I’ll make up for my brother and…’ I was like, ‘Yo. Are you not hearing me? I don’t do that.’ Sure enough, what’s karma? I get accused of fixing a fight right after. Any day anybody in MMA wants to take a lie detecter test and someone will pay for it, I will be there to take the test and I will pass on everything I am telling you. Of course he’s going to hear it and he’s going to deny it and he’s going to swear at me. He’s going to do everything. I don’t care. I’m not trying to ruin the guy. He’s got a career, you’re not going anywhere. You’re a good announcer, your career is over and you tried to do what was best for the company because he had a piece of the company back then. He was a percentage owner. I’m not hating on him, but at the same time, I’m pure. Anyone who wants to label Jared Shaw or Gary Shaw as being unpure in the sport, you’re going to have to take a second look at what you’re thinking. Nothing is ever what it appears to be. I’m tired of living with that myself…
It’s a heck of an allegation, but luckily, Frank Shamrock just happened to be on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani today to talk about the UFC-Strikeforce buyout and was able to respond. Not surprisingly, he denied the allegations.
“No, absolutely not. That’s some movie b.s. right there… It sounds like he’s trying to sell a book or something, or write a movie script,” said Shamrock before asking: “Where would I get the music at? What are you talking about here? Do I just carry a beatbox with me?”
So who to believe, right? Well, the way Shaw tells the story it was only him and Shamrock isolated in a room with the music blaring, so really, it’s his word against Shamrock’s. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never find out who’s lying and who’s telling the truth.
Ironically, it just so happened to be announced today that Seth Petruzelli and Ken Shamrock, albeit in separate fights, will co-headline an April 22 World Extreme Fighting show in Orlando. What are the odds?
Image via Esther Lin
Update: Frank Shamrock elaborated on the topic with Sherdog.
“The whole thing’s goofy,” he responded. “I can tell you what I probably honestly said is, ‘Don’t worry about it. I’ll make him look like a million bucks.’ But I would have never [offered to work the bout]. That’s just silly.”
Asked to clarify what making Slice look like a million bucks would entail, Shamrock said it meant that he’d “kick the crap out of him with style.”
“I have never been approached to throw a fight, carry a fight. I’ve never participated in the carrying of a fight or the throwing of a fight,” Shamrock said. “… I love Kimbo, but at that level, I was going to come off the bench, off an all-night bender and kick his ass. It was beyond question. The skill set wasn’t even comparable.”
“I’m here for the sport,” Shamrock said. “I’m here for the cause, and at that moment, the sport was in serious jeopardy. The CBS executives were basically saying, ‘If you don’t produce Kimbo, we’re all going home.’ And that was the end of ProElite. That was the end of that MMA movement. That was the end of everything we’d generated. No one else was raising their hand, so I raised my hand.”