Slim Trabelsi has signed with Bellator MMA after parting ways with the UFC due to a manager dispute. Bellator officials have confirmed Trabelsi’s contract, which is described as a “six-figure,” multi-fight, multi-year deal in a press release from Dominance MMA. At this time, Trabelsi’s Bellator debut has not been scheduled.
The disagreement arose between Trabelsi’s management firm, Dominance MMA, and Fernand Lopez, the fighter’s coach and promoter. Lopez initially claimed that Trabelsi was still under contract with ARES FC, which he co-chairs, and therefore could not sign with Bellator.
Dominance owner Ali Abdelaziz alleged that he was unaware of Trabelsi’s contract with ARES FC and accused Lopez of keeping the fighter in “slavery.” While a Bellator official declined to comment on Lopez’s statement, Lopez had previously offered to assign Trabelsi’s contract to Abdelaziz for 90,000 Euros. However, the situation escalated when the dispute became public.
Trabelsi stated that Abdelaziz is his manager and that he wishes to continue with him. Meanwhile, Lopez claims that he invested money into Trabelsi and feels entitled to compensation for his efforts. He criticized Abdelaziz for not respecting Trabelsi’s contract.
Trabelsi is undefeated as a heavyweight professional, with four wins to his name from the international circuit, including back-to-back ARES FC victories. He was originally scheduled to fight Parker Porter at UFC 280 before the management dispute led to his release.