Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Fernand Lopez has been under much fire recently, but he is here to clear the air. 

The controversy all started when the ARES FC President and MMA Factory owner had a contract dispute with his client and pupil, Slim Trabelsi. The ARES Heavyweight Champion inked a UFC contract and was set to make his debut at UFC 280, with a different manager Ali Abdelaziz pulling the strings.

But, that was a no-go from Lopez, who was overseeing Trabelsi. Shortly after the fight announcement, Trabelsi would be released from the UFC roster and conflict would arise between Abdelaziz and Lopez. 

Lopez Responds To Reports

Not long after the managers collided, MMA outlet Belt News would report that Lopez was facing criminal charges and that he had a ‘massive criminal record’ in Europe. Lopez would shut down the claims for the most part, citing people are just trying to tarnish his name. 

“That’s kind of a lie,” Lopez told MMA Island. “There’s someone out there trying to tarnish my image and try to blackmail me and make sure that I have any pressure that can make me release even faster Slim [Tribelsi], I guess. That’s the only thing that I can see.

“I don’t pretend that I’m a saint. I think that in the past, I had been in the police station and, uh, and for the, for very small minor record, which is the past. I don’t owe anything to the society and I’m very clean with everything on my present [record]. I’m not really scared of anything being released cause I know who I am and I know when I see my daughter and I can face them, I know who I am and that I’m clean.”

“People tried to.. this media coming from nowhere,” Lopez said of the initial criminal record report from Belt News. “I didn’t know the media before. I just found out that the last, the, I mean the last time that the post that was in March and then the next time that was on my name. So I guess someone get active on that media so they can bring some pressure on me but that did not work at all. Cause again, I know who I am and there’s nothing that’s pending, or I don’t have any problem or anything pending with the justice [system] anywhere in the world. There’s no chance that’s happening to me right now saying that I have any problem with any justice. But if you ask me back, 12 years ago,  as a young man, as a kid, I’ve been in the police station for minor problems, which is for me, no big deal.”

Who Was Behind It?

The 43 year-old would further slam the outlet labeling them as ‘fake media’. He’d cite they didn’t reach out for comment before or after the story was put out as it was in their ‘agenda’ to go against Lopez. 

Due to the timing of the report, Lopez is lead to think that maybe Ali Abdelaziz had a hand to play in this, to try to discredit his name. 

“Yes, I believe that,” Lopez said of Abdelaziz being the cause of the report. “I’m not sure, but I have people working on the digital side on who owned that link with the media. I have a sort of digital police working on that to find out who is behind that. They’re working hard on that… I don’t have the proof cause I’m still working on that.

Lopez Feels Abdelaziz Is Threatening His Life

A week ago, Lopez said he didn’t know how long he’d be alive for, claiming Abdelaziz wanted to ‘destroy’ him over their dispute. Lopez says his life is danger because of the opposing manager, even sharing an alleged message from Abdelaziz saying he will do everything in his power to defeat him.

“Yes,” Lopez said. “You don’t want to [have] paranoia, you want to be cautious. What I did was to prevent everything that can be danger for my life including talking to people would that can help me to any way with protection, uh, and making sure that, I can give my deposition and let the police know what is happening, so they can really understand and work on that. And know what is the truth on that media… and where that come from.

“When someone said to you that I will spend all my dollars to try to hurt you, I think that’s very clear. You can not be as clear at that.”

Lopez Says Ali Apologized To ‘Bring Down His Defense’

Additionally, Lopez claimed Abdelaziz reached out with an apology to bring down his guard. 

I just want to mention that before he had another he said ‘brother, I’m sorry for what I said to you, I don’t know why I did that, cause that’s not a good way to do that. That’s stupid for me to go on Twitter and try to do that. Now I don’t know if that fake media is coming from Ali, that means that Ali played me and have me bring down my defense, letting me know that I will not attack you anymore.

“He asked me to not speak on him and told me he will not speak on me in the media like that’s not good, that’s like child behavior. I think that behind that he wanted to release my defense while he working in the dark web, working with the fake news and everything, which is a different war.

“This is speculation saying that. I feel like I need to be ready every time on every possibility.”

ARES FC Is Not In Danger

Lopez says this story nor his dispute with Abdelaziz and Trabelsi will have an impact on his promotion, ARES FC. 

“You’d think that ARES will be in danger,” Lopez continued. “There’s nothing happening to ARES. ARES will take place on November 3rd and I will be attending that event and invite you guys to tune in on UFC fight pass and I will be there.”

By Chris De Santiago

Chris De Santiago is a 20-year-old journalist out of Texas. He is the founder of MMA Island and also works for MiddleEasy.com.