Home MMA NewsLatest News Manoel Sousa Files Lawsuit Against PFL for Blocking Participation in DWCS

Manoel Sousa Files Lawsuit Against PFL for Blocking Participation in DWCS

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Manoel Sousa, an undefeated lightweight prospect, has taken legal action against the Professional Fighters League (PFL) after being denied the opportunity to compete at Dana White’s Contender Series in August. Sousa, along with his lawyer Marcelo Henrique Antunes da Palma, informed MMA Hook about the lawsuit.

Earlier this year, Sousa signed up to fight at the PFL Challenger Series with the hope of earning a spot in the million-dollar season of 2023. However, despite winning a split decision over Paulo Henrique on February 17, he was not offered a contract.

Sousa mentioned that he emerged victorious from a grueling three-round fight and was subsequently offered another match in the PFL Challenger Series two weeks later. Unfortunately, he had to decline due to testing positive for COVID-19. Sousa believed he was now a free agent but was surprised to receive an offer from DWCS to fight on August 15, only to be informed by PFL that he was still under contract.

“They designated me as a backup, but that wasn’t my intention. I made it clear that I wouldn’t accept,” Sousa stated. “I put in tremendous effort every day, dedicating myself to training, and relentlessly pursuing my dreams. My dream is to fight in the UFC, and the [DWCS] opportunity came up. However, [PFL] wants to keep me tied down. I thought I had the freedom to fight elsewhere, but that turned out not to be the case. They are unwilling to let me go.”

Despite multiple requests for comment, PFL did not respond.

Sousa’s lawyer filed a lawsuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, claiming that the 26-year-old fighter is functionally illiterate in Portuguese. He asserts that the PFL contract, sent to Sousa by his former manager, was in English, and thus Sousa was unaware of its contents when he signed it. Sousa expected to become a free agent if PFL chose not to sign him after what he believed was his only bout under the contract. However, the lawsuit reveals that the contract is actually valid for three years.

According to the suit, which was signed by Sousa’s lawyer da Palma and shared with MMA Hook by Sousa’s team, PFL officials stated that they would not release “Manumito” in any manner since he is considered a prospect of the sport and should be exclusively promoted by PFL for commercial reasons.

“After reviewing the contract,” the suit further explains, “it was discovered that the document does not provide the plaintiff with the option of termination, reserving that right solely to the event, as stated in clause 17.4. Thus, seeking judicial assistance became the only alternative to address this issue.”

As a former SFT lightweight champion in his home country of Brazil and a two-time veteran of the Cage Fury FC, “Manumito” has not competed since February 2023 and remains uncertain about when he will have the opportunity to step back into the cage to fight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lawsuit

What is the lawsuit filed by Manoel Sousa against PFL about?

Manoel Sousa has filed a lawsuit against the Professional Fighters League (PFL) after being denied the opportunity to compete at Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS). He claims that PFL blocked his participation despite his desire to pursue a UFC opportunity.

Why did Manoel Sousa believe he was a free agent?

After winning a fight in the PFL Challenger Series, Sousa tested positive for COVID-19 and had to decline another match. He believed this made him a free agent, but later discovered that PFL still considered him under contract.

What is the basis of the lawsuit filed by Manoel Sousa?

Sousa’s lawsuit states that he is functionally illiterate in Portuguese and was unaware of the contents of the English-language PFL contract sent to him by his previous manager. He argues that he expected to be a free agent if PFL didn’t sign him after his initial bout, but the contract actually lasts for three years.

How did PFL respond to Manoel Sousa’s situation?

PFL officials informed Sousa’s team that they would not release him as he was considered a prospect of the sport and should only be promoted by PFL for commercial reasons. PFL has not responded to multiple requests for comment regarding this lawsuit.

What are the implications for Manoel Sousa’s fighting career?

Since February 2023, Sousa has not been able to compete in any fights due to the contract dispute. The outcome of the lawsuit will determine when he can re-enter the cage and pursue his fighting aspirations.

More about Lawsuit

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FightFan92 June 20, 2023 - 10:46 pm

manuel Sousa is suin PFL! Thas crazee! dey stoped him from fighting at DWCS? WTF?! He jus wan 2 chase his dreamz n fight in the UFC. Hop he win dis lawsut!

MMAInsider23 June 20, 2023 - 11:27 pm

So Sousa tested +ve for covid n cudnt take da nxt fite. but he thot he was free agent! PFL keepin him tied down? dat aint fair. hope dis lawsuit brings clarity n he can get back in action!

MMAWarrior87 June 20, 2023 - 11:36 pm

PFL got sum explenin 2 do! y dey blockin Sousa from fightin in DWCS? n his lawer sayin da contrakt is a mess. hope Sousa get justice n can get back in da cage soon! #FighterRights

OctagonFanatic June 21, 2023 - 11:59 am

PFL playin dirty! dey shudnt hold back a talentd fighter like Sousa. he won his fite fair n square. hope dis lawsuit opens eyes n gets him his shot at UFC. #JusticeForSousa


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