If Jeremy Lappen is trying to kill this whole StandGate scandal (and I apologize for those of you who don’t like the name, but it’s a LOT easier to just say StandGate than write out the whole situation every time), he’s not doing a very good job. Here he is telling AOL’s MMA Fanhouse that ESPN and Sports Illustrated BOTH misquoted him:
Lappen was quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying that EliteXC does not give submission bonuses, while he was quoted by ESPN as saying that Petruzelli was offered a submission bonus. Lappen said both stories misquoted him.
“They’re both wrong,” Lappen said. “We have given submission bonuses in the past but they’re not as common as knockout bonuses. If the question is, ‘Have we ever given submission bonuses?’ The answer is yes. But we give knockout bonuses more often. We gave Seth a knockout bonus before the fight started. That was part of the deal.”
You get shady bonus points for noticing the latest verbal gaffe on Lappen’s part in the above quote. Ya know, saying “We gave Seth a knockout bonus before the fight started.” Sure, if you were to take what Lappen said literally you might think “Did he just admit to paying Seth a KO bonus before he KO’d Kimbo?” And if Seth was guaranteed KO cash without a KO, that’d pretty much be the nail in the coffin on this situation. But I’m willing to give Lappen an inch and say he probably just meant that they agreed to a KO bonus.
Still, when you claim you were misquoted by two major sports organizations and then fuck up another quote to a third, you’re not helping anyone. You risk pissing off Sports Illustrated and ESPN, who now have to either issue a correction or refute Lappen’s accusation. I have little doubt which of those will happen.
Lappen doesn’t even seem to give any indication that he recognizes the seriousness of the accusation. Regardless of if they’re guilty or not they should understand why everyone is flipping out over the appearance of impropriety. But rather than coming out and sticking to the message of innocence and being above the board, Lappen keeps on wanting to talk about ratings and how StandGate is “a non story.”