10 MMA Fights That Changed The Business

5. EliteXC Heat: Petruzelli def. Kimbo Slice


EliteXC was a short-lived MMA promotion that attempted to utilize any respectable non-UFC talent to build their company with. They managed a TV deal with the Showtime network and soon after struck a deal with CBS to feature a handful of cards each year, not unlike WWE€™s Saturday Night Main Event that is featured on NBC every few months. Unfortunately, XC decided to use one of these nationally televised events to showcase the talents of Kimbo Slice.

For those that don€™t recall, Kimbo Slice was a YouTube sensation during the mid-00s for his street brawling contests. His signature beard and crushing matches earned him a cult-like following. Slice became an internet celebrity, which meant he had to be thrust into the spotlight by a MMA promotion that didn€™t know any better. While Kimbo carried some impressively heavy hands, he also lacked any ground game and knew no other strikes besides what he was taught in boxing.

UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock was supposed to face Slice in the main event of the card, but Shamrock had to withdraw due to a last second cut over his eye that was sustained the day of the fight. The infinite wisdom of the match makers decided it was best to replace Shamrock with The Ultimate Fighter 2 Heavyweight cast member, Seth Petruzelli. Even though Petruzelli was an experienced fighter, his resume featured a loss in the semi-finals of TUF2 and an overall 0-2 UFC record that had led to his release at the time.

Despite the high probability of disaster to the credibility of both Slice as a fighter and the company itself, Slice-Petruzelli went on as the last fight on the card. After just 14 seconds, Petruzelli knocked out the inexperienced internet sensation, ruining the company€™s biggest potential draw. Petruzelli also let slip after the fight that he had even been told to keep the fight standing, which launched an investigation into the company by the Florida State Athletic Commission.

EliteXC would only remain in operation for another month, closing its doors in November of 2008.

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Nick Boisseau is a feature writer and poet, currently existing on the fringe of academia. He holds a B.S. in History and is a graduate of the September 2006 class of Storm Wrestling Academy. @DBBNick DonnyBrookBoys.com