Heavyweight MMA fighter Slim Trabelsi will have to wait indefinitely for his UFC debut due to an ongoing contract dispute with his manager Fernand Lopez.
Trabelsi, a heavyweight signed with Lopez’s Ares FC promotion, was supposed to face Parker Porter in his UFC debut on Oct. 22. Lopez is also Trabelsi’s manager along with being the promoter of Ares FC.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto is reporting that Lopez refuses to grant Trabelsi his release and that a fight in court is expected. Trabelsi’s legal team aims to use the Ares contract clause of a release being granted should he ever receive an offer from the UFC.
Lopez has refused to grant Trabelsi his release reportedly based on Trabelsi’s refusal to act in good faith for a move from Ares FC to the UFC.
Trabelsi is the Ares FC heavyweight champion who earned the belt by knocking out Azamat Nuftillaev at Ares FC 8 last month. He is undefeated in his MMA career after an amateur wrestling run.
Slim Trabelsi Barred From UFC Move Due To Dispute With Manager Fernand Lopez
Lopez, who is also the head coach of former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane at MMA Factory in France, has had a strained relationship with some of his fighters in the past. He was involved in a nasty breakup with UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou that included accusations of not paying gym fees and other team-related violations.
Lopez has appeared to blame the situation partly on MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz, indirectly accusing him of attempting to poach Trabelsi.
Trabelsi hasn’t publicly commented on his alleged dispute with Lopez and the hold-up of his originally planned UFC debut.
We’ll continue to provide you with updates on Trabelsi, Lopez, and their ongoing dispute as the story unfolds.
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