Michael ‘Venom’ Page celebrated victory over Richard Kiely at Bellator Dublin by sounding off on veteran referee Dan Mirgliotta at the 3Arena, insisting that he is being targeted by the official and that he will protest if the American were asked to referee another of his fights.
Page told The Telegraph that he will be lodging a complaint with the commission after the way in which his contest with Irishman Kiely was overseen on a dramatic night in the Irish capital, with local hero James Gallagher winning, and star turn Conor McGregor once more a powerful presence for the last hour of the show around the cage.
“Not only did he deduct me a point and take me out a fight ending position, at the end of the fight he pushed me and called me a piece of s***,” alleged the London fighter, who is desperately seeking a rematch with Douglas Lima, the rival handed the former freestyle kickboxer his first career loss earlier this year in the semi-final of Bellator welterweight Grand Prix tournament.
Page was deducted a point by Miragliotta for feigning taking selfies whiled having Kiely down, just before the finish, and Page’s team even remonstrated powerfully with the official.
“One of my coaches even wanted to take it outside they were so unhappy with the way the referee treated me,” Page told The Telegraph.
Kiely, though, had begun the unsavoury antics by putting up a finger at Page during the first round, in which the Londoner was utterly dominant, stalking in that unique style of his.
Both fighters had been warned at that point by Miragliotta.
Page went on to stop Kiely with a flying knee in the opening round of their Bellator Dublin, but the warring parties both fell foul of referee Miragliotta and Mike Mazzulli, the commissioner who overseas Bellator events abroad.
According to MMAFighting.com, Mazzulli fined Kiely $1000 after the event for “unsportsmanlike conduct” under the rules the fighters “are expected to represent the sport in a positive light emphasizing sportsmanship and humility.”
According to MMAFighting.com, Mazzulli then praised referee Miragliotta for his steadfast officiating of the contest. Indeed, Mazzulli intimated to Telegraph Sport that he was happy with the way in which the fight was officiated. “If Page wants to put in an official complaint, we will listen to it,” he told me.
There was bad blood going into this contest from both sides. Page, who is expected to headline Bellator’s next London event on November 23 at Wembley, insisted that his actions had been part of the “entertainment” he brings to the cage.
Page appearing as the London headliner, and his opponent, are understood to be in the process of being confirmed in the next fortnight.
Gallagher showed why so much store is put in his ban the fight league as an event headliner, the young Irishman stopping late replacement Roman Salazar by submission, on a night when the 9,000 strong stentorian crowd showed by Irish fans are pound for pound amongst the very greatest in the world.
The groundswell of support and the wall of sound from one of the best combat arenas in the world certainly spurred Peter Queally on to victory over Ryan Scope, in an utterly entertaining back and forth war, with the lightweights having agreed to meet at welterweight. They certainly produced a thriller.
“The crowd are something else in there,” Queally told The Telegraph afterwards, as he was mobbed on his way out into the Dublin night by joyous fans, many of whom had enjoyed a tipple or two. “It’s like having an extra force out there with you. I can’t lose in front of that. It’s a great time to be under the Bellator banner and I want to prove myself against the best.”