Petruzelli Shocks Slice

By Joe Hall and Dave Mandel Oct 5, 2008
Seth Petruzelli was supposed to fight Aaron Rosa, a light heavyweight from Texas you may not know, on the undercard of EliteXC “Heat” Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla. Instead Petruzelli found himself in the cage with Kimbo Slice, in a heavyweight fight, in the main event, on CBS.

A 28-year-old from Fort Myers, Fla., Petruzelli accepted the matchup after Slice’s scheduled opponent, Ken Shamrock, was cut over his left eye during a light workout and medically disqualified some time before the fight. The notice was outrageously short for Petruzelli, and the win over Slice that resulted was outrageously huge.

Of course no shortage of mixed martial arts enthusiasts would have said beforehand that Petruzelli is a tougher opponent for Slice than Shamrock. Those same fans would have noted, however, that the capable Petruzelli would not be fighting Slice -- EliteXC’s unproven superstar.

Well, Petruzelli fought Slice on Saturday, and he beat him.

Dave Mandel/

A dazed Kimbo Slice tries
to double-leg referee
Troy Waugh.
The fight lasted 14 seconds. Slice backed Petruzelli into the cage, and Petruzelli threw a push kick that he followed with a short right hand. That short punch -- the biggest, no doubt, of Petruzelli’s life -- clipped Slice on the jaw and dropped him on his face.

Petruzelli kept punching on the ground while Slice rolled to his back in an effort to recover. Slice could not collect himself under Petruzelli’s continued attack, and referee Troy Waugh stopped the bout.

The pink-and-black-haired Petruzelli then got to his feet and slung his mouthpiece into the crowd while wearing an expression on his face that suggested he was as shocked as anyone.

Meanwhile EliteXC’s prized possession, beaten for the first time as a professional, was dazed and trying to grapple with the referee.

“It was a crappy situation for both of us,” said Petruzelli, who added that the last-minute changes had probably affected him and Slice.

Indeed, according to CBS, Slice accepted the fight less than an hour before the main card kicked off. It was a risky move against an experienced opponent, a decision that could be subjected to the same kind of criticism that Slice's skills will undoubtedly face for the foreseeable future.

Petruzelli, for his part, called the fight a chance “to get his name back out there.” Considered by some to have been a prospect who failed to live up to his potential, Petruzelli made good on that opportunity by forever tying his name to a victory over one of the most popular fighters in MMA.

Despite the loss, Slice thanked his opponent for taking the fight on short notice. He didn’t stick around for commentator Gus Johnson’s postfight questions, though the questions will still be asked in one forum or another.

“Kimbo Slice,” said Johnson as Slice exited the cage, “we do not know what’s next for him.”
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