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Taila Santos accused of not paying team, claims ‘abusive’ deals

UFC 275: Shevchenko v Santos Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Taila Santos’ next fight may be coming outside the Octagon rather than inside it.

Recently reported by O Município de Blumenau and followed up on by MMA Fighting, the last Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Flyweight title challenger is being faced with accusations of having not paid two former coaches, one of which was also her manager, after her three last fights.

Among the names accusing Santos is former head coach and manager, Marcelo Brigadeiro, who is also known for training the likes of top Strawweight contender, Marina Rodriguez. Brigadeiro claims that he never received his coach and manager percentages following Santos’ bouts against Roxanne Modafferi, Joanne Wood and Valentina Shevchenko. Santos left Brigadeiro’s gym more than one year ago and he intends on filing a lawsuit against the Flyweight.

Marcio Malko also coached alongside Brigadeiro for these previous three bouts. In his case, he’s already filed a lawsuit, but is only claiming he wasn’t paid after the Shevchenko title fight that took place at UFC 285 in June 2022. Per MMA Fighting, Malko’s lawsuit asks for 20 percent of Santos’ pay. From the Shevchenko bout, Santos’ received a flat purse of $150,000, and $32,000 from the “Athlete Outfitting Policy,” which would result in a total of $36,400 for Malko.

The suit filed by Malko comprises 297 pages along with a letter attributed to Santos and her team. Santos alleges the deal she was under was “abusive” — which she also claimed as the case with Brigadeiro — and states that she was persuaded into agreement because of an “unstable financial situation.” Santos allegedly offered to pay $5,200 rather than the entire sum Malko expected to receive.

Santos has already filed a lawsuit of her own toward the former MTK Global representative, Brigadeiro. Filed in Dec. 2021, Santos’s suit claims she, “couldn’t even read [the contract] or keep copies of it,” and was unable to understand how, “abusive and illegal the clauses of the contract were” because of her lack of proper education. Brigadeiro was also accused of trying to get her matched with another MTK Global fighter and turned down a replacement unbeknownst to her. Santos seeks R$24,724 ($4,820).

Pedro Barbosa Farias, the husband and coach of Santos, is also tied into the mess as his brother, Patricio, says Santos didn’t fulfill a verbal training deal post-working with Malko, leaving him with a R$15,000 debt ($2,935). Patricio expected to receive three percent of “the upcoming purses and eventual sponsorship deals, along with reimbursement for expenses after moving to a different city, but wasn’t paid after three months.”

Santos claims these to be “false accusations” and Patricio is unable to pay for a lawyer in pursuit of justice, according to MMA Fighting. He has, however, gone to the police, putting in a report for embezzlement against the couple.

As for her fighting career, Santos remains on the sideline after her closely fought split decision loss to Shevchenko (watch highlights), and just recently opted to decline surgery on her orbital bone that was broken in the fight.

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