ThatMMAGuy got the chance to sit down with Seth “The Silverback” Petruzelli to talk about MMA and his career. Seth talks about what happened with the Ken Shamrock fight, why he was a dog at UFC 100, when he will be back in the UFC, where he will be fighting next and how he wants to break some personal news to us here at MMAPrime.tv.
Ryan Justason: What happened with the Ken Shamrock fight?
Seth Petruzelli: The Ken Shamrock fight was a cluster. I talked to the guy who was putting the card together. We talked about having the fight and then it got post-poned in March. The closer it got to March, nothing was happening as far as contracts and that sort of thing. I signed letters of intent. I talked to Shamrocks camp and they were all ready to go. They wanted to fight and the promoters said that the Mexican government supposedlywanted more money then was planned. They asked for like 6 figures more then they originally asked for and they [promoters] didn’t have the money so they had to suspend the fight indefinitely so it really sucks. I was training for 3 or 4 weeks prepping for the fight and put a lot of time and money into my trainers and that sort of thing. And to have it post-poned, it really sucks. That’s the thing about fighting, everybody asks “why aren’t you fighting?” And I say, I’m trying to fight more often but Strikeforce doesn’t want to sign me because of Showtime and the UFC wants me to have a couple more fights before they have me back. I just have to deal with the small organizations that are just not as organized.
RJ: Who wins? Kimbo Slice or Ken Shamrock?
Seth Petruzelli: Kimbo would have took out Shamrock. I think he would have put the pressure on him and knocked him out. A smart move for Ken would have been to shoot in early and throw a crazy leg-lock on him but I think Ken’s too stubborn and he would try to stand and trade. He would eventually get knocked out by Kimbo.
RJ: Before starting this interview, you said that you had been dealing with some personal issues with your wife. Did you want to tell us about that?
Seth Petruzelli: I’ve got personal problems and mental problems man. There were things that couldn’t be resolved. I’m currently going thru a divorce. I am now part of a statistic, the 51% of divorced people. I’m proud to say that I’m another statistic. We just had a difference of opinion as far as which way my career should go and what I should be doing. We also had arguments about owning a business together and that sort of thing. She wants me to stop fighting, I want to keep fighting. That was one of the main things. It was a mutual agreement to separate and get divorced and we’re both doing our own lives now. We’re both a lot happier. We are both being very civil with each other.
RJ: What happened with the Houston Alexander fight?
Seth Petruzelli: That was the next fight that was supposed to happen after Ken. After the Ken fight, I got so frustrated withdealing withthe smaller promotions that I started to talk to Monte Cox which is a great guy. Before I found Monte Cox, I was in talks to fight Houston Alexander. We agreed on a price and everything was all set. Then I talked to Monte, he informed me that as Alexanders manager, he doesn’t think it’s a good match for him [Houston]. But why not? I’ll stand and bang with him. He’s [Monte Cox] was like “yeah, I don’t think so.” Obviously I was going to shoot in and take him down (laughs), and ground and pound him because that’s his weakness. That’s exactly what I was going to do. So that fight fell thrubecause we both had the same manager in Monte. So whatever. It wasn’t as good of a fight as we thought so they found me a fight in England. So I’m fighting May 15th.
RJ: Who are you fighting?
Seth Petruzelli: I’m fighting Ryan White in their organization which is the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts [BAMMA]. I think it used to be Cage Rage and then they sold it to BAMMA or it changed into BAMMA but it’s a pretty big show in England and it’s live on Bravo TV. I’ll be following their stuff because it’s a really good organization and I really look forward to going over there and pounding out one of their best stars. That’s going to be May 15th in Birmingham, England on the BAMMA 3 fight card.
RJ: Why haven’t you signed with the UFC yet?
Seth Petruzelli: You should ask Joe Silva that question (laughs). Go on the Underground and twitter and ask him why he hasn’t signed me yet. Honestly right now, I think it’s a business decision because Kimbo is there and maybe they don’t want to bring in the only guy who has knocked him out, I guess. I think it would sell tickets and sell pay-per-views and that it would be good to have me in there. Let me have a fight and then a rematch to shut up the people who said it was a fluke or that sort of thing. But I’ve been talking to Joe Silva for the past couple of months about having me back and what not. You know, he’s always interested and they really just can’t fit me in right now. I think that as long as I keep winning fights, that I’ll be back there soon. If I keep winning, they can’t deny me, you know.
RJ: What was the method to your madness when you came out with Tom Lawlor as a dog on a leash?
Seth Petruzelli: (Laughs) I was a pretty dog. I don’t know man. Tom has these crazy ideas and I think I indulgethem and go with them. I mean, when it comes to me fighting, I don’t like that. I like to be more focused and tame because I can’t make that switch. When I’m not fighting, I’m a goofball and I mess around. Other people think I’m crazy like that but when it comes to fighting, I’ve got to shut that off. Tom just had this idea that he wanted to be a dog catcher because CB (Dollaway) was “The Doberman” and he wanted to have me on a leash to come out. I don’t care. I have a lot of pride but I like to goof on myself too. So what the hell? I thought it was funny and I think it came across pretty cool.
RJ: Can you tell us what happened in the Bob Sapp fight?
Seth Petruzelli: Well first of all, I got the call on a week and a half notice. Of course I will step up to any fight. Especially a fight like that where it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. So yeah why not? I’ll fight in Japan on a week and a half’snotice. I got out there and I thought I was winning the fight. With my karate style, I kind of back up a bit to throw my first punch and Bob Sapp was so much taller than me that I would have to teep like I did with Kimbo. I backed up and then he came in with his chin up. I just hurt him in the sweet spot of his chin and knocked him out. If it was MMA, that knock out would have been over for sure but it was a K-1 fight so they gave him a standing 8 count which was more like a standing 10-12 count for him. Then the very next exchange, I threw a couple of legs. He threw a left over my right and as I turned my head to get away from the punch, I got a spinner. I thought I tore my bicep because I threw it so hard and missed. Literally, I couldn’t feel my arm from the shoulder down. 10-15 seconds later, the feeling came back and I was fine to go but the ref said no, no, no, it’s over. I kind of felt pissed off about it and I was screaming. I was like “I’m fine.” “Let’s do this.” I definitely think they were saving Bob Sappbecause I knocked him down in like 30 seconds of the fight. They were just trying to save his ass. I talked to Bob Sapp a couple of months ago and he still said that he would give me a rematch. We’ll see what happens. I’ll fight him just for my own personal vendetta.
RJ: How are things going with your gym, The Jungle MMA and Fitness?
Seth Petruzelli: It’s going great man. Also with the why arn’t you fighting thing, I just opened up a gym in downtown Orlando and that takes some time (laughs). With everything going on there with the gym and the students in there, I’ve been busy. It just so happens that my fights fell thru and I’m at work as well as opening a gym in the process. Right now it’s been a year and a few months open. We’ve got a great group of guys training here like Tom Lawlor and other guys. We’ve got great instructors like Mike Lee and Robert Rios. We also have like 20 other fighters who train with us. The rest are a great group of guys that want to get into shape and into MMA. It’s all great. You can check it out at http://www.jungleorlando.com . It’s in downtown Orlando. It’s a great place for fitness, for MMA and for kickboxing. A little bit of everything.
RJ: Thanks for your time Seth. Are there any sponsors that you would like to thank?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah. I’d like to tell people to check out http://www.silverbackseth.com and they can check me out on twitter and facebook thru there. Also check out http://www.smoothieking.com . We are going to have more sponsors as we get closer to my fight but those are my sponsors until then.
ThatMMAGuy would like to thank Seth Petruzelli for his time and would also like to wish him good luck in his next fight against Rick White.