More details are coming out regarding EliteXC’s history of giving bonuses. Josh Gross got in touch with the people brokering the deals and here’s what he found: some managers have heard of the bonuses and some haven’t. Those who have heard of them say that Petruzelli’s 20k-30k KO bonus was much much higher than any bonus they’ve ever heard of from the organization.
While that might seem a bit odd, it seems like Josh has decided that what went down wasn’t a fix:
Let there be no doubt, EliteXC officials attempted to motivate an exciting fight out of Petruzelli. They did so with an increased purse, a bump in his KO bonus and a pep talk that was meant to inspire. But none of those things seem like indictable offenses. EliteXC has handled the PR so badly that, according to ESPN.com, the Florida Department of Business And Professional Regulation, which oversees the state athletic commission, opened a preliminary investigation on Thursday under the heat of questions from the media.
Talk of fight fixing is incredibly dangerous to the continued growth and acceptance of MMA. The only thing worse than allegations of impropriety is the actual thing — and that’s yet to be proven.
It always interests me when people say “Everything is fine, and by the way if this conversation continues it could destroy MMA’s reputation.” Personally, I think the day people don’t get up in arms over the possibility of fight fixing is the day the sport really gets hurt.
The more money that comes into MMA, the more opportunities there will be for organizations and/or individuals to tamper with the outcome – either to try and help grow their stars, improve their ratings, or create a more ‘entertaining’ product. If we aren’t on the lookout for this and we aren’t protesting in the face of sketchy practices, THEN the sport could face some serious issues with it’s credibility and acceptance.