Regular co-host of CFZ Radio here at MMANews.com Seth Petruzelli made his non-Ultimate Fighter debut for the UFC this past Tuesday night on Spike TV in the first televised bout on the Ultimate Fight Night “The Final Chapter” special which garnered the best rating for a fight card in UFC TV history. Petruzelli had what almost is unanimously considered the televised fight of the night with the wrestling stand out from season three of The Ultimate Fighter – deaf Team Punishment rising star Matt Hamill.
Seth sat down with his co-host of CFZ Radio Luis Cruz for a very in-depth personal discussion about his fight with Hamill from Tuesday just two days after the grueling three-round bout.
Here's a transcript of the interview conducted on Thursday, October 12, 2006.
MMANews.com: This is Luis Cruz at MMANews.com, I am joined by my buddy Seth “The Silverback” Petruzelli. Seth, what's up man?
Seth Petruzelli: Hey, how's it going buddy.
MMANews.com: Not too bad, not too bad. I should be asking you that.
Seth Petruzelli: Aww things are going alright for me man. Nothing's hurting as far as physically but like I said – my pride's hurting man. I'm just down on myself.
MMANews.com: But no physical pain, nothing?
Seth Petruzelli: Nah, no physical pain. Obviously just face soreness after the fight, but other than that nothing serious. I got three stitches under my eye and three stitches on the bridge of my nose, that's about it. It doesn't hurt at all though. It makes me feel bad – though he got 16 stitches and I only got 6 [laughs].
MMANews.com: I can't believe you only got 6, I was expecting at least somewhere around 10.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I know it was only three. I could probably use another one under my eye, but yeah he only put three in there.
MMANews.com: And you said he's got 16?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, 16.
MMANews.com: Now, actually real quick let me ask you about that part, that kick. When you landed that was that a graze or did you hit that flush?
Seth Petruzelli: I don't even remember man, I just remember him dropping when I threw it. I don't know if it was a graze or hit. It was all pretty much a flash in my head, I don't really remember. I haven't even watched the fight yet after I fought so I'll have to go back to it and analyze myself and critique it to see what the hell I did.
MMANews.com: Well, you didn't drop him with that one you just stunned him. The first one is the one where you damn near put him out. Alright, let's go back before we start getting into the fight and stuff. This is obviously the first time UFC was in Florida [for a television special] was there added pressure when you fight in front of your family and friends like that?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I mean obviously it is because I'm the home town guy. Normally it makes you the good guy, but I guess it gives you an automatic good-guy card when you have a handicap. I was obviously the bad guy in the situation even in my home town. But it does add some pressure because all your family and friends are going to be there and watching and all my students and stuff like that. So it was definitely added pressure.
MMANews.com: Oh, you had students there too?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I had a bunch of the students, a bunch of the guys went.
MMANews.com: Well it wasn't that you got boo'd or anything…
Seth Petruzelli: Nah, I didn't get boo'd. Just more people cheered for him.
MMANews.com: I don't know about the end though, I'm not sure if he was getting cheered as loud.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I don't know.
MMANews.com: Now obviously that was what a 16 or 18 month lay off for you?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, it was about a year and a half man. Little bit of time, yeah. Too long to be out of the ring, that's for sure.
MMANews.com: Yeah, so you had that on top of fighting at home in front of everybody. So yeah, that's a lot of pressure.
Seth Petruzelli: The ring rust, me being out, fighting in my home town, that didn't bother me too much but just me being too over-cautious is what did me in. I didn't let my hands go, obviously, everyone knows I didn't throw very many punches and when I did I was hurting him and just didn't capitalize on it, man. I didn't keep going and that's my own fault. My own rustiness, my own lack of a killer instinct when I was in there just from being out of the ring too long.
MMANews.com: You'll obviously see that more when you watch the fight again, you'll probably kick yourself [laughs] but that's alright I mean, it happens. Now I want to talk about your cardio real quick. We talked about this before off the record, I thought that your cardio wasn't the greatest and I told you that before, but this fight I don't think I seen you tired. I seen you frustrated from the cut and stuff, but I didn't see you actually tired.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I wasn't tired at all man. My cardio felt, actually I never had my cardio feel as good as it did this fight. It was just frustration because [in the] second and third round it was just like a cloud in front of both eyes man, I saw white haze and when I was on the ground it was even worse because I had the lights shinning in my eyes [and] I couldn't see anything. And it was just frustration because I couldn't see and me not doing what I wanted to do is just so damn frustrating not being able to do it, it annoyed the shit out of me, but my cardio was fine. I felt fine.
MMANews.com: I tell you what, that's pretty – from your past fights I've seen I thought that was pretty much your only down fall when you were fighting was your cardio. Now that you've got that taken care of. I mean, once you get by this first come back fight, get the ring rust off, you're going to be dangerous at 205 [lbs.].
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, as soon as I just. I just needed to let my hands go man. If I would have just let my hands go, everyone would have known that I am a force to be reckoned with at 205, as long as I just don't climb up like I did and just really release my hands I don't know what I was worried about whether I hadn't been in there long enough to get used to it again or what, I don't know what it was.
MMANews.com: I was actually going to ask you that, what was the cause of you not being aggressive, maybe you were too worried about a takedown or something?
Seth Petruzelli: I don't know if I was worried about a takedown or what it was. Just not being in front of the people again in the cage, I don't know. I can't even answer that man, I got to dig deep and find out what that was.
MMANews.com: Now, let's go back – the cut happens. If you could go back in time, what do you do different?
Seth Petruzelli: Just as soon as he hits the ground I f***ing just swing with punches and don't back up like I did. Just keep drilling him and try to put him on his back and land a barrage of punches and seeing what he does, if he tries to stand up I'd just keep throwing punches, try to get hooks in and rain down punches on his head. And even in the third round when I had him backing up against the cage, I remember seeing myself stop and backing up and let him come off the cage and I don't know why I did that, I should have just kept throwing.
MMANews.com: Everybody pretty much said the same thing, I'm sure you've read all the posts, the only thing you did wrong was you weren't aggressive.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah.
MMANews.com: But obviously it's a learning lesson and you're going to use it in your next fight. Now, the cut under your eye – do you remember at all what caused that?
Seth Petruzelli: Not really, I thought it was him just grazing his forearm across my face. All I remember is his fingers being in my eyes and stuff like that too, and [Big John] McCarthy warned him a couple of times but he obviously didn't hear him and he just kept doing it and then he never said anything. And that's why I was getting pretty frustrated because he kept jamming his hands in my eyes and I couldn't see a damn thing. But I don't know what caused it, I thought it was an elbow but I could be wrong.
MMANews.com: Well, I thought it was the glove. I watched the fight a couple times again and it looked like it pretty much opened up when he rubbed his glove against your eye in the one spot in the first round. Now you mentioned the fingers in the eyes, I was actually going to hit on that next. Do you feel he fought a real dirty fight?
Seth Petruzelli: Umm, when I was in there I didn't. But after reading everyone's posts and things like that – I need to watch the fight again because it sounds like he had his fingers in my eyes the whole damn time.
MMANews.com: I was out of my chair screaming at the TV. I was saying, “why's this guy got his fingers in his eyes, why isn't the ref saying anything?!” I couldn't hear from the TV, I couldn't hear John tell him or motion to him anything.
Seth Petruzelli: Well I remember him saying it once, he said it one time I remember and that was it. It's not like Matt looked at him when he said it, so who knows if he heard it.
MMANews.com: Now I don't want to dog Matt, I actually like the guy as a fighter and his personality. But to me, it looked like some of those fingers in the eyes were intentional. Now I don't want to accuse him of doing that, but that's just how it looked to me on TV.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I got to watch it again. I'm not saying anything until I watch it but as far as all the posts and what everyone is saying – it looks like he was jamming his fingers in my eyes.
MMANews.com: Obviously the grinding of the elbow was intentional, that was pretty obvious.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, well I mean I guess that's part of the game. If someone had a cut open I'd try and punch the cut open too. I definitely wouldn't be taking my fingers and try to rip it open.
MMANews.com: Actually, I think that's illegal. I'm almost positive it's in one of the rules of the UFC on their website.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah? I'll have to look at that.
MMANews.com: Now, in round one I thought you were a little tenative with your kicks which I think is one of your real strong points. You got some good, hard accurate kicks. You were kind of just throwing them out there, what were you doing were you just measuring him or what?
Seth Petruzelli: I don't know, I was kind of just seeing what he was going to do. If he was going to shoot off my kicks or what he was going to do with my kicks that's the only reason why I was kind of lobbing them out there I just wanted to see what he was going to do.
MMANews.com: You were just feeling out then?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I was just kind of feeling him out which I guess was kind of a mistake [laughs].
MMANews.com: Eh, maybe the first round – you started putting something behind them in the second and third round obviously. Now, let's go back to season two [of The Ultimate Fighter] real quick, first of all what do you think about the season two being called kind of the worst season of the four.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, number one I've touched on this many times man because all of us our friends so you didn't have any drama in the house but you had a hell of a lot of comedy and pranks, which they didn't show shit of. What the hell do you want to see a bunch of guys sitting around the house – occasionally training and getting along? No, you want to see cool shit that happens but they didn't want to take that angle. The angle of us all being friends and all playing pranks on each other, they'd rather have people hating each other which none of us had did, so. They probably did it on purpose for the season.
MMANews.com: Yeah, and you did say they cut a lot of that out before.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, a lot.
MMANews.com: Now, do you think that hurt the exposure of some of you guys, being that it was not that popular?
Seth Petruzelli: Aww, sure. I mean look they were trying to build up every single person from season three, and they have Keith [Jardine] and Rashad [Evans] from season two, you know? And Brad [Imes]. And that's it.
MMANews.com: Now those guys had fights obviously after that, but you had a couple of injuries that we talked about on the show [CFZ Radio] and stuff, that pulled you out of a fight. Now do you think that hurt you as far as exposure goes more than the other guys?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, for sure I should have gone in there and just went in. There's not much you can do you know, like when I had stuff going on with my concussion stuff, but I should have just toughed it out and kept going. That would have been the warrior way, but that wouldn't of been the smart thing to do. What are you going to do you gotta choose you know? And it probably hurt me more than anything but who knows if it would have hurt my health too though, so.
MMANews.com: Now what's next for you Seth, you get medically cleared how soon are you looking to get back into the octagon?
Seth Petruzelli: As soon as I can and I'll do it next month if I can, although my wedding is next month so maybe December [laughs].
MMANews.com: Your wedding?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I'm getting married November 19th.
MMANews.com: Oh man you didn't tell me that.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I thought I did.
MMANews.com: You definitely didn't tell me that.
Seth Petruzelli: Well, I told you now [laughs]. No, I'm getting married in November so anytime in December or January I'll get in there as soon as possible. I e-mailed Joe Silva – already told him to give me another shot. I didn't make any excuses, anything like that I just said I wanna put on a good performance better than I did. And he said he'll contact me this weekend and we'll talk about it.
MMANews.com: Do you think you deserve another shot?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I think I do. If f***ing Danny Abbadi gets to come back and fight and all these other guys that lost a bunch get to come back I damn sure better be able to come back and fight.
MMANews.com: You're right dude, you do. You definitely deserve it we were talking about that on the forums. You definitely deserve another shot to prove yourself. Long lay off, it happens. Now is there anything you want to say to your fans – don't apologize, I don't want no apologies from you [laughs]
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I'd just like to say I'm sorry [laughs]
MMANews.com: Nah, no apologies. You don't need it.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I just want to be able to prove to you guys that all I've worked in my whole life and what I do in the gym, I just want to show that to all you that I can compete with the top guys because I know I can. I know what I do in the gym, I know what I do to people during training and I just need to prove that. Just one good fight in the ring just to show all you guys what I got. I know I can compete with any of those guys as long as my cardio is good, once I get this mental block out of my head to do what I know I can do. I know I can be the greatest. I don't know, keep having faith in me, keep watching me fight – keep supporting me and I won't let you guys down.
MMANews.com: Well if you read the forums, I say I looked around at least four big forums and nobody is taking anything away from you for that fight. That's one thing I seen consistently.
Seth Petruzelli: Well, there was a few negative things in there but whatever.
MMANews.com: Yeah, you always get the handful of guys that do all the tough-talking on the keyboard. Alright any sponsors you want to mention that helped you out for this fight?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah definitely, go to SilverBackSeth.com, TapouT – which is InYaFace.com. Great companies. This new gear that just came out it's called Brawler Gear. That's Brawler-Gear.com. New fight company coming out sponsoring me. And Michael James Customs – if anyone wants to get their car, truck whatever hooked up with some bad ass rims, TVs, whatever that's the place to go. So thanks to all those guys they help me out a lot with sponsorship and stuff. And just my personal website SilverBackSeth.com.
MMANews.com: I actually interviewed Keith Jardine yesterday. He mentioned your fight. Go to MMANews.com you'll see it says Keith Jardine Interview at the top, check that out.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, I was looking for him down at the fights he wasn't there. Rashad was there though, I talked to Rashad a lot.
MMANews.com: Yeah he mentioned you at the end, he was disappointed with the whole – he called it lay and pray thing and that the decision was awarded like that.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, it sucks but what are you going to do man.
MMANews.com: Now, before I let you go – I wanted to ask you did you ever consider going to Albuquerque to train with those guys?
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah, they invited me when I was out there this last time. Actually, I've always had an invite from like years ago. I used to fight with those guys on the circuit with King of the Cage. So, I'm friends with Greg Jackson and their fight school and all that. I'm definitely for my next fight, especially if it's out west, I'm going to go there and train because it's heat, great altitude, great training. All those guys out there look out for me so I'm going to come train with them.
MMANews.com: I know you're good friends with Rashad and Keith.
Seth Petruzelli: Yeah.
MMANews.com: So I'd definitely take advantage of that. There's a bunch of fighters that aren't just sticking to one training camp anymore, they find success going to a bunch of training camps and that seems smart. Alright Seth, thanks a lot for taking a few minutes to talk to us. I look forward to being back on the show with you as soon as we get the kinks worked out.
Seth Petruzelli: Dude definitely, yeah, with this schedule and everything like that with my school opening and everything like that, sorry I haven't been on in a while but once I get this schedule figured out I'll definitely get back on and hopefully get some more good one-liners out of me, or some good racist comments one of the two, I mean. I hate deaf people, I hate handicap people.
MMANews.com: Aww man!
Seth Petruzelli: No, no I'm just joking [laughs]. f*** all their parking spots I'm double parking every single handicap spot I ever see, with my big ass Hummer.
MMANews.com: [laughing] Alright Seth, thanks a lot man. I still love ya, we still love ya at the site man.
Seth Petruzelli: Thanks guys.
MMANews.com: And I'm sure I'll be talking to you soon.
Seth Petruzelli: Alright man, take care.
MMANews.com: Take it easy Seth, later.
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