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TJ Thompson drops more dirt on ProElite

The TJ Thompson media train chugs on with an interesting interview care of Sam Caplan and CBS Sportsline. I was gonna include some money quotes but the whole article is one big money quote, so go read it. Those of you who need convincing that there’s new and interesting shit in here, check these tidbits out:

As we get a little further, we’ve got our first big group meeting and I’ve got at the table, Gary, Jared (Shaw), J.D. Penn and Rich Chou, myself, and Patrick Freitas, Turi Altavilla, Terry Trebilcock is on conference call, and Jeremy Lappen, and we were all dividing responsibilities when it came to matchmaking. And with that group of people there, the matchmaking team ended up being Jared Shaw, J.T. Steele, who was just an intern at the time, and Rich Chou. It was at that point that I realized that things weren’t going spectacular. Literally, of the ten people there, the three with the least experience were picked as the matchmaking team.

In the end we were able to make a deal but it was originally (a situation) of talks going into litigation because of the existing contract. They always seemed to get into litigation. There was always talk of attorneys with ProElite. They turned everything into a legal situation. It really was frustrating. Recently, legal letters went out for no good reason. There was a horrible relationship that happened with TapouT in the last month of ProElite where there are legal matters pending, that obviously aren’t going to go through now, with images of Kimbo Slice.

As far as I’m concerned, TapouT should be considered a partner as they are spending millions of dollars promoting Kimbo Slice. And we treated them like we were doing them a favor by allowing them to promote Kimbo Slice. There was always sort of that attitude amongst ProElite that we were doing other people favors. At the top level, I didn’t see anyone in the company that was doing any positive as far as relationship building.

Jeremy had pretty much everything to do with signing Kimbo in the first place and developing that relationship. And then once we got him onboard, Gary immediately took a hold of Kimbo and I think had decided that as his power in ProElite was waning that he would really try and quarantine Kimbo from anyone else. Including Jeremy Lappen, which was really frustrating to Jeremy. And when he went to sign a new contract, Gary Shaw actually put some provisions in the contract that may have been illegal – and they were certainly ill moral and unethical – that if Gary Shaw left the company that Kimbo’s contract could be re-negotiated and that Kimbo would be allowed to box outside of the company. And he put that in without Jeremy Lappen’s knowledge and Jeremy happened to catch it on the way through and it didn’t stay in the new contract.

TT: The Bo Cantrell fight, there was a problem in that Bo didn’t want to fight at the last minute and I believe he had to be paid a bonus just to go out and fight. But at that point his performance looked as if he didn’t want to fight.

Q: Is it true that he was just very sick and he didn’t want to fight and ProElite officials just said “You know what? You have to get out there.”

TT: I don’t believe he was sick. I believe he didn’t want to fight. I wasn’t involved. I know that Gary Shaw was closely involved with that. None of it smells good to me but I don’t have any information on what really happened or didn’t happen in the back room.