Fernand Lopez, Ciryl Gane’s coach and the proprietor of MMA Factory in France, spoke on a very public spat he had with Dominion MMA representative Ali Abdelaziz.
Abdelaziz is known by many fight fans for managing some of the biggest names in the sport, including Henry Cejudo, Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje, Cody Garbrandt, Kayla Harrison, and Khamzat Chimaev. Last year, Abdelaziz came under fire after engaging in a feud with Lopez that eventually devolved into threats and slander. The rivalry revolved around Tunisian-born fighter Slim Trabelsi, a heavyweight prospect who wanted to be represented by Abdelaziz despite having a contract with Lopez.
Abdelaziz somehow managed to bypass Lopez’s rights and secured a UFC contract for Trabelsi. The offer was quickly terminated by the promotion due to the legal complications surrounding the fighter and his management status. In response, Abdelaziz allegedly spread rumors that Lopez was a criminal and threatened to expose him to the media if he didn’t comply and release Trabelsi from his contract.
“If someone is a criminal and you know that you have evidence that he’s a criminal, just turn him into the police, Lopez said in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview with James Lynch. That’s very dangerous. That’s very bad for him to slam me and say things on me when he’s trying to explain to people that he’s not a terrorist when people are saying that he’s a terrorist. I’m not saying that. People are saying it.
“I don’t know what he’s doing with that, but coming from my point of view, coming from this kind of man, it’s just ridiculous. Frankly, I don’t give a f*ck about what he’s saying. He literally said to me, ‘If you don’t do what I’m saying to you or if you don’t release him, I will come at you with everything I got. I will just kill your name. I have contacted all the media.'”
Slim Trabelsi is the @ARES_Fighting heavyweight champion! 👑
[ #ARES8 | 𝗟𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗪 | on #UFCFIGHTPASS ] pic.twitter.com/QhMIE0S4X4
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) September 2, 2022
Fernand Lopez Details The Lengths Ali Abdelaziz Would Allegedly Go to Slander His Name
Fernand Lopez also revealed that a picture of him taken from his UFC license was photoshopped into an image making it look like he had been arrested. According to Lopez, Abdelaziz was at the forefront of that attempted slander and once again threatened to destroy his career unless he agreed to release Trabelsi from his contract.
“That was bullsh*t. That was his way to treat me. He said to me, ‘Listen, in a couple hours, I will bring something up, and if you release him, if you send me the letter of release, then everything will be off online, but if you don’t do that, you will just keep seeing things. I will bring so many things from the shadows you will not be able to defend yourself.’ So I knew that would happen and that will keep happening. That’s his way to deal.”
Slim Trabelsi has since signed with Bellator MMA under a six-figure multi-fight deal. The heavyweight prospect has not booked his debut for the promotion as of yet. The dispute over who holds the right to represent Trabelsi appears to be far from over and Bellator has denied commenting on the situation thus far.