In this video from MDS at AOL Fanhouse, Dana White fields more questions from reporters on EliteXC and StandGate. He claims he “knows for a fact” that EliteXC paid Petruzelli to stand among other things. Also notable, without hesitation he shoots down any possibility of the UFC or WEC signing Gina Carano and building a women’s division. Here’s what White tells Dave Meltzer about it.
“I think that Gina Carano is a real star. She’s beautiful, talented and she’s a real fighter. I just don’t think there are enough good women fighters that you can start a division around them. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Personally, I think they’re passing up a big opportunity, but I’m not the one running the top MMA promotion in the world, so what do I know. They’re smart and know how to make money in the fight game, so they must have good reason.
Back to StandGate, here’s more details from T. Jay Thompson via Dave Meltzer.
“I was told by two executives cageside that everything was taken care of and that the fight wasn’t going to the ground,” said T. Jay Thompson, a Hawaii-based promoter who is also an executive consultant with Elite XC. “I wasn’t backstage for the conversation.”
Thompson, who had said he would talk to investigators, was never called, but by not being backstage when the conversation took place, his testimony wasn’t firsthand. Thompson said while at the arena and hearing what he did, he immediately contacted oddsmaker Joey Odessa and warned him to take the fight off the board.
Obviously, if Florida was doing their job, they would have contacted Thompson, found out who gave him that info, and spoke to them about what they knew, but of course, that didn’t happen.
It doesn’t sound like one of those executives Thompson spoke to was former intern turned Senior Manager of Fight Operations J.T. Steele though. He’s apparently pretty upset Thompson has publicly spoken out against the company.
Steele was particularly hurt by EliteXC colleague T.Jay Thompson’s comments in the media. In an interview with MMAWeekly.com, Thompson said he was confident that EliteXC fighter Seth Petruzelli was paid to stand with “Heat” headliner Kimbo Slice.
“There was no fixing fights involved,” Steele said of the Slice/Petruzelli fight. “We were there, the commission was there, and we made our statement pretty clear. And anything contrary, without any type of evidence other than a suspicion is really worthless. Those type of comments are very damaging to everyone around it. I think it’s completely inappropriate to base something off of your opinion.”
Steele says he has tried to contact Thompson for clarification on the comments, to no avail.
Thompson’s statement sounds pretty clear to me. I’m not sure this isn’t over just yet though.
By the way, Sam Caplan did a lengthy interview with Thompson at CBS Sportsline in which he aired out a ton of ProElite’s dirty laundry. Too much to quote, so head over there and check it out.