Michael “Venom” Page silenced Richard Kiely with a flying knee at Bellator Dublin. Now both fighters are in trouble for their antics leading up to the finish.
Kiely has been fined $1,000 for flipping the bird to Page at Friday’s event, and Page’s behavior is being assessed to determine a possible fine.
“I will be reviewing the tape to determine further sanctions,“ wrote Michael Mazzulli, who serves as the regulator for Bellator events overseas, in a text message to MMAFighting during the event at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
As the head of the de-facto athletic commission at Bellator events where MMA isn’t officially sanctioned, Mazzulli enforces the Unified MMA Rules used by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, where he serves as the Executive Director. He also is the current president of the Association of Boxing Commissions.
Mazzulli cited the Unified Rules’ language on unsportsmanlike conduct, which states MMA athletes are “expected to represent the sport in a positive light emphasizing sportsmanship and humility.”
The clause continues: “Any athlete that disrespects the rules of the sport or attempts to inflict unnecessary harm on a competitor who has been either taken out of the competition by the referee or has tapped out of the competition shall be viewed as being unsportsmanlike.”
Mazzulli praised the fight’s referee, veteran official Dan Miragliotta, for his early warning of Kiely and subsequent point deduction against Page. In the end, the knockout rendered moot Page’s punishment.
Mazzulli expects to make a final decision on sanctions by Tuesday.
Kiely eagerly and often went after “Venom” Page in the buildup to the fight, claiming he’d gotten inside his opponent’s head. Page dismissed Kiely as a “joke” and vowed to deliver a brutal finish, a prediction that came true.
Page’s win got him back in the win column following a brutal knockout loss to ex-champ Douglas Lima in the semifinals of the Bellator welterweight grand prix. It was his first loss as a professional MMA fighter
Kiely, meanwhile, suffered the second loss of his pro MMA career, which at five fights represented one-third of Page’s experience.