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Lawsuits and police report filed after UFC title contender accused of not paying coaches and manager

A recent UFC title challenger has been sued by her former head coach and manager.

Taila Santos recently fought Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC strawweight title. The Brazilian lost the contest, but succeeded in providing Shevchenko the toughest test yet in a flyweight championship fight.

Santos appears to have another tough fight ahead of her, though this one isn’t inside the cage.

According to reports out of Brazil, Santos is being sued by her former head coach and manager Marcelo Brigadeiro. He claims Santos has not fulfilled her contract since she left the coach and his gym over a year ago and that he is owed money from her fights with Roxanne Modafferi, Joanne Wood and Shevchenko.

Brigadeiro told MMA Fighting he expects to file a lawsuit against Santos in the coming weeks.

Marcio Malko, who coached Santos for the Modafferi, Wood and Shevchenko fights, is also suing Santos. He has filed a lawsuit seeking 20 percent of her UFC 275 pay ($36,400).

Patricio Barbosa Farias, the brother of Santos’ husband Pedro Barbosa Farias (who now coaches Santos), is also crying foul. He told MMA Fighting he was left with a $2,935 debt after Santos allegedly failed to pay him for his work as part of Malko’s coaching staff.

Farias said he can’t afford to file a lawsuit and instead filed a police report against his brother and Santos alleging embezzlement.

Santos released a statement to MMA Fighting about the situation in which she revealed she filed a lawsuit against Brigadeiro in 2021 over the contract that was signed between them.

Her lawsuit claimed that she “couldn’t even read [the contract] or keep copies of it,” and couldn’t understand how “abusive and illegal the clauses of the contract were”.

Santos also accused Brigadeiro of trying to book her against another athlete managed by him in the UFC in 2021 and turning down a replacement opponent without her knowledge. Santos is seeking $4,820 in her lawsuit.

Brigadeiro signed Santos when he was working for MTK Global. That company folded in April as a result of US sanctions against alleged drug kingpin Daniel Kinahan.

Kinahan founded the company that would become MTK Global in 2012. Despite MTK claiming Kinahan stopped working for the company in 2017 (after one of their weigh-in shows was attacked by gunmen), many top MTK clients—including Tyson Fury and Darren TIll—continued to claim Kianhan as a close friend and trusted advisor.