Veteran MMA referee Dan Miragliotta got himself in trouble over the weekend during his officiating of the Michael Page vs. Richard Kiely fight at Bellator Dublin.
Page won the fight via first-round flying knee knockout, but not before some controversy. Kiely had flipped the bird to Page in the cage, and Page responded by showboating, leading Miragliotta to taking a point away from him for unsportsmanlike conduct, which is a very rare occurrence.
After the fight was over, Page accused Miragliotta of foul treatment, saying the referee called him an expletive.
Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Miragliotta admits now that he did indeed say some not-so-nice things about Page in the heat of the moment.
According to Miragliotta, he tried to get Page to shake Kiely’s hand once the fight was over and presumably their feud had ended. According to the veteran ref, Page told him to “f*ck off,” and that’s when Miragliotta swore back.
“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**t.’”
Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation president Mike Mazzulli oversaw the event since it took place in Dublin. He reviewed footage from the bout, and ultimately decided he wouldn’t punish Kiely, Page or Miragliotta for anything they said or did in the fight.
However, Mazzulli did say that Miragliotta will likely never officiate another Michael Page fight.
“When Mr. Page performs again, Dan will not be in the cage,” Mazzulli said.
And that’s just fine, according to Miragliotta, who has no interest in reffing Page’s fights.
“I’ll never do his fights again, because I can never really look at him and not have that animosity toward him, because I’m not going to let somebody tell me to f*ck off, and there’s nothing I can do, and I’m an official,” Miragliotta said. “It’s not good for me or the sport.”
It’s worth noting Miragliotta was also seen shaking his head during Greg Hardy’s recent TKO victory over Juan Adams, something which drew notice by fans and fighters alike.
What do you make about referee Dan Miragliotta’s comments towards Michael Page?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/1/2019.