PRO MMA Exclusive – Seth Petruzelli sets the record straight

by:  Cory Brady

In the years to come one may possibly look back on the MMA career of Seth Petruzelli and define it pre- and post-Kimbo, depending on how things unfold over the next few weeks and months ahead.

PRO MMA had a talk with Seth prior to his appearance at the EliteXC event on Oct. 4 where he was scheduled to fight Aaron Rosa. None of us had any inclination whatsoever Seth would be fighting Kimbo Slice, least of all Seth himself. But destiny has a funny way of working itself out regardless of our plans or intentions.

As we spoke with Seth prior to the Oct. 4th event, he had this to say, “I know I still have a few fans out there but I’ve been out for a year so my name has kind of gotten lost in the mix so I’m definitely looking to come in and make a big splash in EliteXC. It’s going to wake up some of those other light heavyweights in EliteXc and let them know there’s someone else here now that they’re going to have to deal with.” Wow! Almost prophetically Seth said he was going to make a big splash at EliteXC, however, I doubt even “the Silverback” had any idea just how big a splash he would make!

Not only did he KO the most popular “mixed martial artist” on the planet in fourteen seconds but he turned a whole MMA organization on its head. Thankfully, Seth remembers those who were there for him prior to Oct. 4th and gave us a few minutes of his time today. There has been so much talk, so many rumors and conspiracy theories since EliteXC: Heat aired on CBS, what better person to talk to than one of the men who is right in the middle of it all, Seth Petruzelli:

PRO MMA: Thanks for taking this time with us Seth! Tell me, how good do you feel right now?
Seth: It’s amazing. It’s a surreal feeling right now. I don’t think it has all settled in yet. I think I’ve slept about five hours total. I don’t think I’ve had a chance to step back and let it all sink in yet.

PRO MMA: What went through your mind when you found out you were going to fight Kimbo?
Seth: It was a mix of emotions; a little bit of fear but then total excitement at the same time. And just the fact that this could be the opportunity of a lifetime and no matter what they offered me, it would be stupid not to take it. It was a win-win situation. If I went in on short notice and lost, they would be happy I stepped up and I would get another fight anyway and if I won then all this would happen so either way it was great.

PRO MMA: Talk about coming out of nowhere, you went from the untelevised undercard to the Main Event to shocking the world all in a day’s work. Did you ever question whether or not you should take the Kimbo fight or was it an immediate yes?
Seth: No, it wasn’t an immediate yes. I just wanted to know how much they were going to offer me and as soon as that was settled then it was a definite yes.

PRO MMA: Now I know a lot has been made about the fact that EliteXC supposedly paid you not to take Kimbo down. Now I’ve read the comments you had made and it seemed like your words were severely twisted around. Can you go ahead and set the record straight for everyone: Were you paid to keep the fight standing?
Seth: No, I wasn’t paid to keep the fight standing. The only reason I said that is that it was a knockout bonus which I wanted to make, so I wanted to keep it standing. It kind of got misconstrued that they wanted me not to take him down, but it was a knockout bonus, they would have paid either one of us for the knockout bonus.

PRO MMA: What went through your mind when you first realized that you had dropped Kimbo with that short punch?
Seth: First of all my mind went blank and my body took over. It was just on cruise control. You condition your body to just react so I wasn’t thinking at all. As soon as he hit the ground with his knees it was just keep going, keep going, keep going until the ref stops me. It didn’t really surprise me that punch did it, it was pretty much the same exact punch I dropped Bob Sapp with. They are backing me up, I’m waiting for my timing and as soon as I saw his chin duck down from that front kick I just clipped him with that right.

PRO MMA: Did you have the chance to talk to Greg Jackson before the fight or was the push kick-jab strategy all you?
Seth: It was pretty much all me. What I wanted to do at first was throw a couple of push kicks and have him rush in on me and me shoot in on him but it just worked out for the benefit that his chin was right there so I just took that shot and it landed square so I was like aw screw it and just kept going.

PRO MMA: How did you celebrate your big win? Did you go out?
Seth: Yeah I went out that night, I was a little scared to go out, but I reluctantly went out because everyone wanted me to go out. I had a couple of death threats and people saying some stuff, so I was kind of scared to go out a little bit but I went low key so it pretty fun then I had an after party here which was really fun. I got a little too drunk. I didn’t even have that much to drink but after cutting weight and not having much food I was drunk after just a couple of drinks.

PRO MMA: You said you had some death threats, but was it the locals because I know you are from Florida too?
Seth: Yeah, I’m from Florida but not from south Florida. It was mainly the Kimbo fans down there that was doing it.

PRO MMA: Having to worry about some gangsters doing some shady stuff to you when you’re trying to celebrate your win, man that’s no fun.
Seth: Yeah it kind of sucks and kind of takes the fun out of it. The first thing I said to the athletic commissioner when he came in the ring and told me to calm down was, “You gotta get me outta here, you gotta get me outta here. I’m scared.” I was just waiting for something to get thrown in the ring.

PRO MMA: There’s a bunch of reports that you received $50,000 dollars for this fight with a $15, 000 win bonus. Other reports are saying that you made something closer to the six figure range. How much did you end up making in this fight altogether?
Seth: With my knockout bonus and my sponsorships it was up in the six figures.

PRO MMA: Has EliteXC approached you yet about a Kimbo rematch?
Seth: That was the first question after the fight was over because we both took the fight on an hour’s notice. But I don’t think he was too keen on taking the rematch. It didn’t seem like he wanted it and I don’t know if EliteXC wants it either. But if they offered it to me I would do it, I would take it in a second.

PRO MMA: Any idea who the person was that caused the Ken Shamrock headbutt?
Seth: No. I had seen him walking around with two guys. I can’t remember their name, but he had two or three really big guys that he trained with every night, I can’t remember their name. One of my friends, Kenny, had been going up in his room every night to warm him up and do all sorts of stuff but it wasn’t him, it was one of the other guys he had been training and grappling with that bumped him in the head. Ken Shamrock was the first person I thanked at the press conference.

PRO MMA: I know you recently opened up the Smoothie King Franchise in Florida, but due to the fact that your career could now take off beyond your wildest dreams will you be devoting a little extra time to training?
Seth: For sure. I have been a part-time fighter pretty much my whole career the past seven or eight years and we have another Smoothie King opening in a couple of months. But, I’ll probably have my employees be there more now and I can concentrate more on fighting. We have our gym opening up in like a week too here in Orlando called Jungle MMA. For my next fight I plan to spend a little more time at Jackson’s camp and I would also like to go out to Xtreme Couture in Vegas and spend some time. I still talk with Whitehead all the time and would like to go out there and train too. With the extra money at least I will have the ability to put in some extra training.

PRO MMA: How’s the Smoothie King business been since your win?
Seth: I’ve had a couple of notes dropped off there and my wife said some crazy phone calls had been coming. I’m having a signing this Sunday at 11:30 so it should get pretty crazy this Sunday.

PRO MMA: Thanks for your time Seth any sponsors you would like to thank?
Seth: Social Menace Clothing at out of Orlando; they are starting to blow up pretty big, and

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