Seth Petruzelli may have delivered a blow to EliteXC’s golden boy with his knockout victory over Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson at the last EliteXC on CBS event, but the comments he made to a radio station in the days that followed the fight have delivered the final knockout to the company itself.
The promotion, which currently carries a 60 million dollar debt accrued over two years, has notified fighters they currently have under contract that the company is going out of business. The final nail in the coffin was CBS pulling out of a deal to buy EXC, which would have saved them from debt and given them at least a few months to turn things around.
Petruzelli’s comments about being paid to stand with Slice changed everything. The comments sparked an outrage among MMA fans and media, and an investigation was begun to discover if EXC officials did, in fact, try to influence the outcome of the Petruzelli/Slice fight.
Regardless of what the investigation would ultimately turn up, it was clear that the EXC brand was permanently tarnished because of the story, and CBS cut ties with them.
This story will have a gigantic effect on the mixed martial arts business in North America, at least on non-UFC companies. No major network will take a chance on a fight company because of this scandal, which means that Affliction will very likely follow EXC into the ether at some point in early 2009.
I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.