Patricio Freire regained the Bellator MMA Featherweight Title at Bellator 178, where he submitted Daniel Straus in the second round of their main event fight.
Following the historical win, the victorious Freire jumped on top of the cage in celebration and was subsequently fined $2,500 by the Mohegan Tribe Department Of Athletic Regulations chief Mike Mazzulli.
“Mike Mazzulli approached my corner after my victory, laughing and saying that he just finished making some money,” Freire said to MMA Junkie. “He seemed very condescending. He certainly didn’t come across as someone concerned that a fighter might get hurt, jumping on and off the fence. He wasn’t concerned about anyone’s safety. He was concerned about making money.”
Freire is just one of a group of fighters who have been fined for post-fight celebrations in recent months, others include Rafael Carvalho and Charles Oliveira.
The champion wants Bellator MMA to work with the various athletic commissions in the future so that this doesn’t happen anymore.
“When a fighter climbs up, the promotion snaps photos which they share via social media,” he said. “It’s also good television. It’s just a heartfelt celebration. I don’t know (the commissions’) reasons for fining us. Do they want the winning fighter to stand around in the cage, doing nothing? It’s something that the promotion encourages by recording it. Either the promotion needs to enter into an agreement with the commission, or they should stop encouraging ‘irregular’ actions by their fighters. It’s what they’re doing, as I see it. It’s a misunderstanding between both organizations. I don’t see the problem with climbing on the cage, as we’re already fighting inside the cage.”
Bellator MMA currently has three events on the schedule through July and none of those will take place under MTDAR authority or even in the state of Connecticut.
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