Recently, World Series of Fighting promoter Ali Abdel-Aziz took to twitter to inform his followers that he would be releasing a statement regarding shady managers who "steal income tax from their foreign fighters." While the Egyptian native decided against the statement, he appeared on The MMA Hour to dicuss an overview of the problem.
"This is something that happened recently," Ali told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani. "Confidential things got signed and I've been told not to mention any names, but what happened, what the managers do, they open a joint bank account between them and the fighters in America. You have [fighters] living in Russia or in Brazil, and after that, all the checks, sponsor checks or some even promotional checks, UFC checks or World Series of Fighting checks, they go directly to this manager's account. All the fighters don't have access to that account because they live in Brazil or they live in Russia. And what happens? The manager, he has an address for him here in America, he'll go ahead at the end of the year, file for income tax checks.
According to Ali, foreign fighters in the UFC, Bellator and WSOF need to be educated on such matters, as they cannot rely on their management teams wholeheartedly.
"If you're an MMA fighter, do not have a joint bank account with your manager," Abdel-Aziz continued. "Your management is not your father, is not your mother. The manager works for the fighters. The fighters do not work for the management."
As someone who manages a slew of fighters from the North Caucasus, Ali has been around fighters who were disheartened by other management teams.
"Listen, there are some good honest managers out there, and there's a lot of bad ones. A lot of scumbags. Now all fighters have to open their eyes. Sponsorships, income tax checks, especially with foreign fighters -- Chechen fighters and Dagestani fighters are being charged 30-percent of their purse, and after they have to pay the government 30-percent? What do they keep? Forty-percent, and they get their income tax even from there. Even Brazilian fighters. I think a lot of these foreign fighters, they need to open their eyes. You can make good money in MMA, but you write a check for the managers. Don't let the managers write you a check."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.