‘MVP’ found two opponents at Bellator 227, clashes with Big Dan
Bellator had a successful double header over the weekend, with 227 in Dublin, Ireland and 228 at the Forum in California both bringing a lot to unbox.
The Dublin card had plenty of action with six exciting finishes before Michael ‘MVP’ Page faced off against rival Richard Kiely. MVP began the fight with his hands and shoulder low with his traditional showboating bravado and brought the pressure to Kiely early. He feints are aggressive have Kiely circling to the left looking for a set up. Kiely fires off an inside leg kick with his left and MVP tags him with a perfectly anticipated counter right. After the exchange Kiely is maintaining his distance and offers a middle finger to MVP.
Big Dan immediately stops the fight and cautions Kiely for the gestures and insists they keep the focus on the fighting. Miragliotta turns and offers the same admonishments to MVP before restarting the bout. He made it clear he will not tolerate the excessive behavior. MVP again uses his speed to parry a left hand from Kiely and not quite hip toss but get him off balance and push Kiely over his hip and onto the canvas.
MVP continues to showboat, and Kiely remains in his spider guard waiting for MVP to engage. MVP holds onto the ankles and judiciously selects his striking from a standing position before collapsing into guard. He lands several blows in the ground and pound, with Big Dan later claiming that he was saying “you fucking bitch” to Kiely in between each blow. After hearing the curse for the third time and after MVP stopped to take a pantomimed selfie, Miragliotta stepped in and called time once again.
This time he would deduct a point from MVP after both had already received warnings for the unsportsmanlike conduct. MVP has a shocked look on his face as Miragliotta sternly states “you’re going to lose this fight with me if you keep playing games, you hear me?”
As the action restarts MVP stalks Kiely and lands a standing flying knee that has Miragliotta instantly stepping in to wave off the fight. MVP finishes with another famous flying knee, but this time not from the injury, but the controversy that follows. As MVP was gloating over his finished opponent, Miragliotta looks to move him back and end the encounter, but MVP persists in his taunts. A heated Miragliotta admits to calling him a ‘piece of shit’ under his breath, which MVP’s coach heard and confronted him.
While Miragliotta apologized in the cage and implored MVP to behave better, he simply returned the insults, which obviously didn’t sit well with the 56 year old. He made it clear that regardless of his dislike for MVP, he would have officiated the bout the exact same regardless of the contestants. While Miragliotta has volunteered to no longer officiated MVP’s bouts, it appears the governing commissions will make it a point to ensure that.
Miragliotta had issues with Greg Hardy in a similar fashion as he celebrated a victory and he dropped his hand. Big Dan is a man who obviously feels strongly about his values, which I most fans would agree with, but with these two incidents he is developing a reputation that will be interesting to watch develop as he continues to encounter MMA’s many strange characters. It wont likely impact his career or how often he works, but you will likely see promotions steering him away from there more controversial figures.