Ref Vows To Never Work MVP Fights Again
On Friday at Bellator Dublin, Michael “Venom” Page alleged that official Dan Miragliotta swore at him following his caustic victory that included the referee docking Page a point for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“I’m not going to say I didn’t say it, but I was wrong for saying it,” the well-known referee told MMA Fighting. “I shouldn’t have gotten that angry, but I did. I screwed up.”
“When Mr. Page performs again, Dan will not be in the cage,” said Michael Mazzulli, president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, who was the regulatory body for Bellator Dublin and Bellator 227 on Friday.
“I think emotions got to everybody in that cage, including the referee, and he knows that he was wrong,” Mazzulli said.
“It’s not professional, and it’s not how we want to portray the sport, and Mr. Page should realize that,” Mazzulli said of the British fighter’s attitude during the fight against Richard Kiely.
“He’s been very professional with me over the years. I think it was just a culmination of what was occurring two months before the fight.”
Shortly after the event, Page claimed Miragliotta called him a “piece of s*it” in the cage. He demanded an apology from the referee and hinted at a pattern of mistreatment.
Following the knockout of Kiely, Page stated that Miragliotta called him a “piece of s**t” in the cage, and demanded an apology. The longtime official says that he snapped at Page following the fight, because Kiely was attempting to shake Page’s hand, leading to Page telling him to “f**k off.”
“I was pissed, bro,” Miragliotta said. “I’m 56 years old. I’m a grown man. I’m older than him. I show respect to everybody. When someone says f*ck off like that to me with disrespect, I lost it. I never should have said what I said. And I know I was wrong.
“Under my breath, I turned, and one of his coaches was right next to me, and I said, ‘What a f*cking piece of s*it.’
“I knew I was wrong, and especially with it being his coach right there, and he said, ‘What did you say?’ And I said, ‘Man, I apologize. I never should have said that.’”
Continuing forward Miragliotta docked Page a point for unsportsmanlike conduct that included Page mimicking himself taking a selfie of he and Kiely.
“It was a bad matchup, and he was dominating the kid,” Miragliotta said. “He didn’t have to do what he was doing. At one point, and you can watch the video and probably read his lips, he’s hitting him, then he stops and calls him a f*cking b*tch, he hits him again, ‘f*cking b*tch,’ did it a third time.
“He was taunting the kid. So I was like, I warned him, I’m calling time.”
“I go, ‘Bro, you are one of the most talented guys I’ve ever refereed,” Miragliotta said to Page following the fight in an attempt to smooth things over. “I said, ‘Don’t ruin it with these antics. You beat the piss out of this guy, great job. You’re talented. You’re going places.’ He gave me a look like, ‘Screw you, f off.’”
“(The) comment (from Page’s coach) was, ‘Would you have taken a point away from (Muhammad) Ali if he did that, showboating?’” Miragliotta said of Page’s coach launching into the referee following the fight.
“And I said, ‘If I give you a hard warning, I wouldn’t care if you were Jesus Christ – I would have taken a point away from you.’”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting