In an e-mail to Sherdog.com, Antonacci said that due to the findings in the preliminary investigation, there was “no need to move forward with a full investigation. The case has been closed.”
The investigation began four days after Petruzelli told the Monsters in the Morning radio program on 104.1 FM in Orlando, Fla., that EliteXC officials had paid him to keep his last-minute bout with Slice, a novice ground student, on the feet.
The state agency’s findings come three days after Pro Elite, parent company to EliteXC, closed its doors after a life-saving deal for its purchase by Showtime fell through. Pro Elite’s August SEC filing reported that the company was more than $55 million in debt.
FSBC Executive Director Thomas Molloy interviewed Petruzelli, EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen and inquired with both the Nevada and California State Athletic Commissions regarding the promotion’s past conduct in their jurisdictions.
Molloy also contacted David “Tank” Abbott, who lost to Ferguson at a Miami EliteXC event in February 2008. Molloy asked if Abbott had been asked to fight in a particular manner, to which the former UFC superstar answered, “No, nothing was said.”
Though Pro Elite officials denied any misconduct on Oct. 4, at least one employee has stepped forward to voice his doubts following the company’s demise.
“I have no proof, [but] I’d be amazed if [Petruzelli] wasn’t paid to stand up,” Pro Elite executive consultant T. Jay Thompson told Sherdog.com Tuesday.
Thompson also said two EliteXC employees expressed their confidence to him cageside of an arrangement that had been made with Petruzelli before the fight. Thompson said he alerted Pro Elite CEO Chuck Champion the next day.
“I sent Chuck Champion an e-mail basically telling him my concerns the day after, and after talking to him, he made it clear to me that isn’t what happened and I had to go with his word,” Thompson said.
Thompson was not listed as one of the sources interviewed by the commission during the investigation.