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Danny Sabatello fined $5,000 for ‘abusive language’ at Bellator 282

Danny Sabatello’s mouth forced him to write a check at Bellator 282.

Sabatello was fined $5,000 by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation for abusive language at this past Friday’s event, MMA Fighting has learned. The fine was subtracted from his disclosed pay for his fight with Leandro Higo, whom he beat via unanimous decision in the Showtime-televised co-main event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

MTDAR President Mike Mazzulli cited Rule 21 of the MMA Unified Rules, which prohibits “use of abusive language in the fighting area.” Sabatello may appeal the decision, Mike Mazzulli added.

Sabatello, a brashly confident fighter who frequently drops f-bombs, indicated he’d been warned about cursing in his post-fight interview. But he subsequently swore on the microphone, and in a faceoff with interim bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots, flipped the bird.

“I was told if I swore in my post-fight interview, I might get fined,” Sabatello said. “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.”

Stots also dropped an F-bomb criticizing the wrestling-heavy fight, but did not receive a fine.

Mazzulli said he warned Sabatello and other fighters at the event’s weigh-ins to keep his behavior respectful in and outside the cage.

“I said just be respectful of the sport, that’s all I ask, and don’t push,” Mazzulli said. “You heard him standing there saying, ‘I’m going to get fined, but I don’t care.’ So he got fined.”

The full language of the abusive language rule prohibits “use of abusive language in the fighting area. 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).”

Informed of the suspension during a Monday appearance on The MMA Hour, Sabatello didn’t appear surprised but mocked the decision.

“Yeah, that’s f****** bulls***,” he said. “That’s such f****** bulls***. But you know what, I don’t care. If I fight there again, I’m telling you right now, I’m going to do the same s***. You can keep f****** fining me. Nothing is going to deter me from being myself, and also, it wouldn’t do justice to the fans. I want the fans to understand exactly who they’re dealing with. That’s who I am. That’s my personality. Fine me. I don’t give a f***. It’s just money.”

Sabatello’s win over Higo earned him a semifinal berth in the Bellator bantamweight grand prix. He next faces interim champ Stots in a bid for the belt and a $1 million payout offered to the tournament’s winner.

Mazzulli said Sabatello wasn’t the only Bellator 282 fighter fined – Alexander Shabliy received a $1,000 penalty for jumping on the cage after his knockout win over ex-champ Brent Primus.

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