As reported by MMAFighting Bellator’s Danny Sabatello has received a $5K fine by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation following use of the F word in a post fight interview.
Sabatello defeated opponent Leandro Higo and during the post fight interview was quoted as follows:
“I was told if I swore in my post-fight interview, I might get fined….So it’s a good thing I don’t give a f***! I just beat an absolute animal, and not one of you is going to do s***! You want to do something? Come in here right now and do something.”
Mohegan President Mike Mazzulli apparently cited Rule 21 of the MMA Unified Rules, which prohibits “use of abusive language in the fighting area.” Mazzulli was quoted as follows by MMAFighting ““I said just be respectful of the sport, that’s all I ask, and don’t push…You heard him standing there saying, ‘I’m going to get fined, but I don’t care.’ So he got fined.”
The rule prohibiting “abusive language” has the below footnote in the latest printing of the MMA Unified Rules.
The use of abusive language is not allowed
during MMA competition. It is the sole responsibility of the referee to determine when language
crosses over the line to abusive. It should be clear that fighters can talk during a match. The
mere use of auditory language is not a violation of this rule. Examples of abusive language
would be (Racially motivated or Derogatory language)
There is a good argument that the spirit of this prohibition was not violated.
Sabatello could consider appealing. One key to administrative law is the fair and consistent application of a rule. If other fighters have used similar language that the Mohegan regulator did not sanction Sabatello has a good argument that his fine is arbitrary and should be set aside.
Barring that the Mohegan precedent is now $5K for swearing.