The Kimbo Slice-Seth Petruzelli saga (now dubbed "Standgate") lives on, and last week, Dana White decided to join the fun. In speaking with the LA Times, the UFC president is pushing full-force for the Florida State Boxing Commission's investigation into EliteXC. In what was supposed to be an interview about the UFC's upcoming Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben fight on Saturday, White turned the conversation into a blitzkrieg on EliteXC. In response to the Gary Shaw's earlier statements to The Times to defend EliteXC's push to keep the fights standing, White said:
"These guys are selling the sport because it's popular, but now they're trying to change the rules. ... If you think wrestling and jiu-jitsu is boring, you're in the wrong ... business, brother."
Petruzelli originally told a Florida radio station that we was enticed with a bonus to keep the fight standing, but he later amended his statements to say he was just talking about the knockout bonus that he earned. And that he was really hung-over when he spoke to the radio station.
White wasn't buying it, though.
"This is illegal, these guys should go to jail for that," White said. "You could bet on this fight in Vegas. It's no secret Kimbo stinks on the ground. It's no secret Petruzelli should take him to the ground. But what you didn't know is that the scumbag promoter had told him not to.
"If this happened in Nevada, or if it happened with me, the FBI would be investigating it. If this thing does not get investigated properly, it's the biggest slap in the face to sports."
As MMAPayout's Adam Swift notes, White's rampage comes with its own set of risks.
While the incident could be the nail in EliteXC's coffin if any improprieties are substantiated and its brand, along with its top star, has suffered some irreparable damage as a result of the negative publicity regardless of the outcome, the potential fallout for the entire MMA industry as a result of any wrongdoing is very real.
As Swift points out, the UFC is hoping to distance itself from potentially dishonest acts -- to appear as "the guardian of MMA," while also smothering the competition. But even if the EliteXC is found guilty in the investigations, the verdict may come back to haunt the UFC. A tainted reputation for EliteXC could result in a tainted reputation for all of MMA.
- UFC's Dana White on ‘Rampage' about EliteXC (LA Times)
- UFC Looking for KO of Its Own in ‘Standgate' (MMAPayout)