Ohio fines Andreas Spang 20% of purse for post fight fracas

Monday, April 23, 2012

In May of 2011 Maquiel Falcao was released by the UFC after at least two unfortunate incidents came to light.

Falcao had been sentenced to house arrest in Brazil, for two years, but failed to fulfill the terms of the sentence. Falcao explains:
“I was at a club with a couple of friends, and one of them had an argument with another group of guys. They started fighting, and soon it became a fight between two groups. One girl got injured in the lips during this mess and took me and my friends to court. I was considered guilty for aggression.”

In 2007 it took several people to pull Falcao off a defeated Leandro Gordo. Again, Falcao explains:
“Before the fight, he scaled the wall of my home, stole my fight shorts and showed up wearing them on fight day. On top of that, he sent people to my home to threaten me. This made me lose my head.”

Neither explanation is wholly convincing.

Falcao was picked up by Bellator, where he acquitted himself well, making the finals of Bellator’s season-six middleweight tournament. Saturday he was brought into the cage for a publicity faceoff with Andreas Spang, who had just beaten Brian Rogers.

Spang had shoved Rogers at the weigh in, and was coming off an exciting come from behind win just moments before; when Falcao got in his face, things spun a little out of control.

Spang shoved Falcao, who drove back at him and threw a knee and appeared ready to start punching when retired fighter and current Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith and matchmaker Sam Caplan put on their bouncing caps, and broke it up.

Once again, Falcao explains.
“I didn’t understand what was happening. I thought he was going to assault me, so I reacted to defend myself. I had no other intention. I think he failed to live up to the role of an athlete since many people, many children were watching and in attendance. What he did was ugly, very ugly. As a Brazilian athlete, I felt sad over it.”

Bernie Profato runs one of the most admired Athletic Commissions in the world, and does not tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior in his state.

“When you come here to fight, we ask for four things: self-respect, respect for your opponent, respect for those who regulate and promote the sport, and self-discipline,” Profato said. “He went zero for four.”

Profato said he initially planned to suspend Spang six months because of the shoves. However, after an unofficial appeal from Bellator officials and Spang, who would have been forced to scratch from the tournament finale, Profato gave the fighter the option to choose a 20 percent fine or the suspension.

“When you get in their pockets, that can be a true eye-opener,” said Profato, who said the fine goes to a general state fund and not to the Ohio Athletic Commission. “We’re just not going to stand for that stuff. … He took away from a great event.”

Profato said Spang has the option to appeal the punishment, but as he told the fighter, two Ohio commissioners were in attendance at Bellator 66, and, “I guarantee you they will hold up since that crap doesn’t fly here.” Additionally, Profato plans to contact the Louisiana Boxing & Wrestling Commission, which regulates the tournament finale at Bellator 70 on May 25, and suggest they give Spang a short leash for any future infractions.

Spang earned $30,000 ($15,000 to show and $15,000 as a win bonus), and he was fined 20 percent of the full amount. Falcao received no punishment because “he was only protecting himself,” Profato said.

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