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Patricio Freire fined $2,500 for climbing on cage after Bellator title win

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Patricio Freire celebrates with family and team after winning the featherweight title back at Bellator 178.
Bellator MMA

Patricio Freire’s buzzed-about post-fight celebration Friday night wasn’t in full compliance with athletic commission rules.

“Pitbull” was fined $2,500 for climbing on top of the cage following his featherweight title victory over Daniel Straus at Bellator 178 at Mohegan Sun Arena, MMA Fighting confirmed Saturday with Mike Mazzulli, the director of the Mohegan Tribe’s Department of Athletic Regulation.

The situation was first mentioned on Twitter by Freire’s manager Matheus Aquino.

Mazzulli said climbing onto the cage or jumping over the cage after a bout is a safety issue and fighters were warned multiple times about it at weigh-ins Thursday. He mentioned Darrion Caldwell doing a back flip off the cage in 2015 and landing on a camera woman.

Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho was fined $5,000 for going over the cage after his win over Melvin Manhoef in Italy. Mazzulli, who is also the the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC), was the head regulator for that card as well.

Freire, 29, was also charged for a steam cleaning in his Mohegan Sun hotel room, because a large mess was left on the floor, Mazzulli said.

(Update: Aquino said there was not a large mess and the room belonged to a coach, not Freire.)

Freire (26-4), one of the most decorated fighters in Bellator history, beat Straus by second-round submission to win the Bellator 145-pound title for the second time. Afterward, “Pitbull” had an emotional celebration and brought his baby son into the cage with him.

“It’s a dream come true to win back this title and this belt is for my son,” Freire said afterward. “It’s a gift for him. I want him to be proud of his Dad and know that I overcame a lot to bring this title back home to Brazil.”