Commission head apologizes after verbal altercation with fighter at Bellator 250 weigh-in

·Combat columnist
·2-min read

A minor controversy erupted Wednesday at the weigh-in for Bellator 250 when featherweight Brandon Girtz and Mike Mazzulli, the director of athletic regulation for the Mohegan Tribe which is regulating Thursday’s show in Uncasville, Connecticut, got into a verbal altercation.

Girtz stepped onto the scale and Mazzulli called out 146 pounds. As Girtz began to leave the area, Mazzulli shouted toward him and told him he was over weight and needed to re-weigh for his bout with Henry Corrales in the co-main event. The number on the scale showed 146.2 pounds, but the scale’s display was facing away from Girtz so it is not clear if he could read it.

There was a brief exchange between Mazzulli and Girtz, who then took off his sweat pants and stepped back onto the scale behind a towel. He then weighed 145.6, which was below the contract weight of 146 pounds.

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Yahoo Sports contacted Mazzulli, who declined comment and asked a reporter to contact Bellator spokesman C.J. Tuttle.

Tuttle told Yahoo Sports that Mazzulli “told me he called Brandon and apologized and said he knew he was wrong.” Tuttle said Girtz had accepted Mazzuli’s apology.

Bellator president Scott Coker said he did not see the incident live but had spoken to Mazzulli.

“I heard about it from my staff and I did talk to Mike Mazzulli,” Coker said. “He told me he apologized to Mr. Girtz. It’s an unfortunate situation, but there was an apology made and everybody is ready to move on and we’re looking forward to what should be a great fight card.”

Fighters are emotional and often don’t feel well at weigh-ins because they’ve been cutting weight and deprived of food and water. Mazzulli has regulated combat sports for many years and knows that well.

He clearly should have bitten his tongue or calmly explained that he’d made a mistake by saying 146 and that the correct number was 146.2.

The important thing is that Girtz made weight and is able to fight and that Mazzulli apologized. He just needs to be more aware in the future of the impact of his words on fighters at a stressful time like the weigh-in.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 12: A general view of Bellator 230 MMA fighting event at Allianz Cloud on October 12, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)
A general view of Bellator 230 MMA fighting event at Allianz Cloud on Oct. 12, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)

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