Sam Caplan did an interview with Seth Petruzelli yesterday. Seth stated that EliteXC offered submission and “Fight of the Night” bonuses in addition to a knockout of the night bonus. Here’s the excerpt.
Sam Caplan: So all of the conspiracy theorists going around demanding an investigation and accusing you of having accepted a bribe are crazy?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s always going to be crazy ass people after every fight, especially at this level, people are going to say all sorts of crazy stuff. But no, it’s been blown way out of proportion. (Laughs) I just wanted a knockout bonus and that’s pretty much it.
Sam Caplan: Would you have received a bonus had you submitted Kimbo?
Seth Petruzelli: Yes. There were submission bonuses, knockout bonuses, and a “Fight of the Night” bonus — just like the UFC does it. They just want an exciting fight no matter where it goes.
His answer was one of two things. It was either his legitimate explanation or he was backtracking on his previous comments to cover it up, right? Now, Fightlinker brought up a good point. If they are trying to cover it up, their stories are bound to have inconsistencies at some point. Well, that has already happened.
Josh Gross has published a report on SI.com that quotes Jeremy Lappen stating they don’t offer submission bonuses.
Unlike the UFC’s lucrative performance-based bonus structure awarded after each event for the best knockout, submission and fight, Lappen said a third to a half of all bout agreements offered by EliteXC come with an assured knockout clause.
“We’re just trying to create exciting fights,” Lappen said, doing some spinning of his own. “Fast-paced energy fights. It’s just something we’ve always done.”
EliteXC, it seems, does not view submissions, widely thought of as the most technical aspect of MMA, as an overly important portion of an exciting fight.
“We don’t give submission bonuses,” Lappen said. But Petruzelli “knew a knockout bonus was possible before the fight.”
Plain and simple, Seth says EliteXC offers a submission bonus, and EliteXC says they don’t. Seth says it’s just like the UFC’s bonus structure, EliteXC says it isn’t. Quite the contradictions. Why on earth would Seth be under the impression they’re the same if they aren’t?
As Fightlinker pointed out, how come no one’s ever heard of these bonuses?
And one more thing, why in the hell would EliteXC ever want to give Seth more incentive to knock Kimbo out to begin with?
[UPDATE 10/08/08 3:40PM ET] – Ben Fowlkes with Cage Potato asked Benji Radach if these bonuses exist.
“No, not at all,” Radach said, when asked whether Elite XC officials ever mentioned knockout, submission, or fight of the night bonuses, before or after the event. “I wish there was a bonus because I think my fight was really exciting, maybe fight of the night or knockout of the night. But nope, I never heard anything.”
This doesn’t necessarily contradict what Lappen has said, but it does contradict what Petruzelli has said.
[UPDATE 10/08/08 6:54PM ET] – This is getting ridiculous. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but Nick Thomas of Bloody Elbow said Seth appeared on Sherdog radio today and said he was offered a knockout of the night bonus but was NOT offered a submission of the night bonus, nor was it even talked about. Once I listen to it, if his comments were misrepresented, I will properly amend this update.