Resounding jeers for EliteXC

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald filleted the EliteXC’s most recent event, going so far as to say it was a “sham.”

By now, all MMA enthusiasts (and most of the rest of us) know that Kimbo Slice was defeated in 14 seconds by Seth Petruzelli, who was a last-minute replacement for 44 year-old Ken Shamrock, who cut his eye while training on the day of the fight.

Did Shamrock believe his training so unproductive that a little cramming was necessary?

The point is that Shamrock was forced to back out, which sent EliteXC and CBS scrambling for an alternative. The first idea to solve the problem was, of course, to replace Shamrock with his brother, Frank — who was supposed to be the broadcast’s analyst.

This often happens in sports. Analysts such as Troy Aikman and Kirk Herbstreit often leave their TV jobs on a temporary basis when their former teams have injured quarterbacks and need help.

When that brilliant idea tarnished, EliteXC started searching for other stand-ins before finally settling on some dude named Seth Petruzelli.

The column gets interesting when Salguero discusses what EliteXC told Petruzelli before the fight:

Anyway, Petruzelli agreed to the fight, but his instructions from the EliteXC people seem hazy. In a radio interview Monday, Petruzelli said he was told he could not take Slice to the ground — which would be good for Slice, a stand-up brawler who is not proficient on the ground.

This instruction from EliteXC, which has hitched its popularity to Slice and has an interest in Slice succeeding, is akin to Major League Baseball informing teams they must throw only fastballs to New York Yankees hitters. It is, after all, good for the sport when the Yankees win the World Series.

”The promoter kind of hinted to me, and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him,” Petruzelli told the Monsters in Orlando radio show. “They didn’t want me to take him down, let’s just put it that way. It was worth my while to try to stand up and punch with him.”

Is this starting to sound rigged to you?

That perception was personified when EliteXC vice president Jared Shaw began yelling at the referee in the fight’s final seconds, alleging Petruzelli used an illegal blow against Slice. In doing so, he showed an obvious bias toward the organization’s manufactured star.

I’m not a regular MMA enthusiast, but I’d probably tune in if there was one league that featured all the best fighters. Until then, I’m going to stay away.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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