Case Closed on EliteXC Investigation

Written by Tom Ngo
October 23rd, 2008

The preliminary investigation that was opened by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the department that oversees the Florida State Boxing Commission, into Seth Petruzelli’s upset victory over Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson on the October 4th “Heat” event has officially been closed.  Based on their investigation, they found that, “No wrongdoing occurred in the ProElite MMA fight between Kimbo Slice and Seth Petruzelli.”

The investigation started four days after Petruzelli went on a local Florida radio station stating that EliteXC management had offered the last-minute replacement more money if he kept his bout against Kimbo strictly a stand up battle.

“The promoters kind of hinted to me, and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him. They didn’t want me to take him down, let’s just put it that way,” Petruzelli told 104.1 FM in Orlando, Florida.

Although EliteXC brass vehemently denied the allegations from the jump, and Petruzelli later went on to recant his initial comments stating that they were taken out of context, the public outcry left the DBPR with no choice but to look into the matter.

In an email to Sherdog.com, Alexis Antonacci , a representative for the DBPR wrote:

“Through a preliminary investigation, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has concluded that no wrongdoing occurred in the ProElite MMA fight between Kimbo Slice and Seth Petruzelli.”

The preliminary investigation comprised of interviews with Petruzelli, EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, as well as inquiries to the Nevada and California State Athletic Commissions, as both have worked with EliteXC in the past.

DBPR also interviewed former UFC fighter Frank “Tank” Abbott, as he had previously faced Kimbo, and he told the Department that he was never told by EliteXC to fight Kimbo a certain way.

This may be a moot point in the MMA world now, as EliteXC had filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. However, it is always good to hear that a sporting event is free from conspiracy and bribery.

(Photo Courtesy of Tom Casino/EliteXC/CBS)

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