Prominent Mixed Martial Arts manager Ali Abdelaziz who manages top UFC and Bellator fighters including the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has been sued by a fellow manager and agent RusFighters LLC.
RusFighters LLC has also sued former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov. The lawsuit was filed against both of them on January 16 in Orange County superior court over contractual issues.
According to RusFighter, Vitaly Minakov breached his promotional agreement with them and another manager Ali Abdelaziz allegedly intentionally interfered with the contractual relationship.
RusFighters alleges that Minakov signed with them back in 2016 and according to the contract, Minakov was supposed to pay 20% of his gross performance compensation to his agent and the contract would last 3 years or “until the expiration of any contract executed pursuant to the Agreement” according to The Forbes. Meanwhile, Minakov hasn’t competed in Bellator in nearly five years ever since he defeated Cheick Kongo five years ago to become the Bellator champion. He then had a contractual dispute with Bellator which kept him out of action in the states.
In the meantime, Minakov fought seven times in Russia under the Fight Night promotional company. The dispute between Bellator and Minakov came to an end back in August of 2018 and he signed with the promotion again.
However, according to recent court filings, RusFighters have claimed that they negotiated the terms of the contract with Bellator for Minakov, yet they have alleged that Minakov used the help of influential MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz as his agent to negotiate the contract and accused Ali of interfering with the terms of the contract which according to The Forbes is for “six fights with minimum performance compensation to Minakov of $300,000 per fight, for a total minimum value of $1,800,000.”
Now RusFighters want a favourable judgement as Minakov’s exclusive agent status and 20% compensation from his Bellator contract.
Meanwhile, Vitaly Minakov is all set to rematch Cheick Kongo at Bellator 216 this weekend.