UFC women’s flyweight Taila Santos has seemingly been taken to court after allegedly scamming multiple fighters in Brazil.
Santos, the current #2-ranked contender at 125 pounds, recently rose from a relatively under-the-radar and underrated name in the Octagon to a woman considered a serious threat to the rule of Valentina Shevchenko.
At UFC 275 in June, Santos headed to Singapore looking to achieve a feat not many gave her a chance of accomplishing. But despite entering her title challenge as a sizeable underdog against a champion who’d dominantly dispatched everyone in her path, the Brazilian gave “Bullet” her toughest test to date.
Whilst she ultimately fell short on the scorecards — a decision that split opinion amongst fighters, fans, and pundits — Santos’ performance was valiant enough to leave many calling for her to receive an immediate rematch.
If that does come to fruition, she may have hard time finding training partners or coaches.
Santos Faces Court Battle After Alleged Failed Payments
To reach the highest level of mixed martial arts, fighters require a dedicated team of professional around them, both in terms of coaching and simulations provided by other fighters.
With that in mind, most athletes bring in fighters to aid their preparations in camp, paying them for the services they provide. Well, it seems that Santos did everything but that last step.
Per a report from Brazilian outlet O Município, the top-five UFC flyweight, as well as her husband, has been accused of “scamming” at least three fight professionals, including her own brother-in-law, Patrício Barbosa Farias.
In an exclusive interview with the publication, the individuals told all on the apparent wrongdoing, claiming that they had been employed to help Santos in her camp before being sent away by her partner, Pedro Barbosa Farias, without payment.
“It was like this with me and two other teachers of hers. He assembled the teams, promised (verbally) payments and contracts, but out of nowhere, he got angry and intruded in training,” said Patrício. “After creating intrigue, he sent the professionals away, but never paid for the service they were provided.”
Patrício, who believes the scam derives from his brother’s mind but is approved by Santos, filed a police report having been left in debt as a result of the failed payments.
“The coup is always the same and in the end, it’s both their fault. One has the idea and the other approves. They partner with you, train for a while, and then leave, but they don’t pay anything. Just in this joke, I already have R$15,000 in debt.”
Two coaches have also seemingly suffered at the hands of Santos’ scheme — Marcio Malko of Thai Brasil Floripa and Marcelo Brigadeiro of Astra Fight.
In the images below, Santos can be seen alongside Malko (left) and Brigadeiro (right):
According to the report, after months of preparation ahead of Santos’ momentous championship opportunity at UFC 275, Malko was left without the agreed compensation and was sent a letter, explaining that if he wished to receive payment, he should take it to court.
That’s evidently exactly what they’ve done, with both teams battling to secure the payments they were promised through legal means. According to Brigadeiro, this is the first time he’s ever encountered such an issue in MMA.
“I can say that, in 26 years of profession, it is the first time I need to go to court against an athlete. I think that already says a lot about everything.”
After seeking a comment from Santos’ husband, O Município wrote that an angry Farias “offended” the reporting team, before insisting everything would come to light at the end of proceedings.
What do you make of the allegations against one-time UFC title challenger Taila Santos?
All quotes & accusations h/t O Município