Response from Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio’s Manager to PFL’s Controversial Suspension of FightersBoth Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio have expressed strong disappointment following their suspension by the PFL due to an uninspiring fight that took place last Friday night.
In a turn of events, a unanimous decision victory that gave Schulte a place in the 2023 PFL playoffs was nullified by the organization, who instead chose to uplift Shane Burgos to the spot. Consequently, Schulte lost his opportunity to participate in the playoffs, missing out on a potential $1 million prize if he had emerged as the champion at the season’s end.
Schulte turned to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the decision, urging ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou to intervene after his recent lucrative contract signing with the PFL. This contract gave Ngannou a place on the PFL Athlete Advisory Board, allowing him to have a say in the organization’s decision-making process.
I am deeply unhappy with the PFL’s decision last night to give preference to Shane Burgos’ entry into the playoffs, Schulte posted on Twitter. He then drew attention to Ngannou’s fight with Derrick Lewis, noting, He didn’t throw six punches the entire fight, and he wasn’t penalized for his performance that night.Therefore, I appeal to you, Francis Ngannou, as a protector of fighters’ rights, do you think this decision is fair?
Meanwhile, Manfio’s manager, Brian Butler from Suckerpunch Entertainment, issued a statement expressing his dissatisfaction with PFL’s choice to reprimand his fighter, despite no wrongdoing.
Although the fight wasn’t the most exciting, its legitimacy isn’t being questioned, yet the PFL chose to penalize both Manfio and Schulte, who share a longstanding friendship and are teammates.
Butler stated, In my view, a subjective decision like this from a promoter that prides itself on advocating for fighters is simply a poor reflection. He also pointed out that Manfio and Schulte have a deep understanding of each other’s fighting style, having been exclusive training partners and best friends for years, with Schulte even being the godfather to Manfio’s daughter.
He concluded by stating, Uninteresting fights and poor style matchups happen all the time in this sport. Yet, the unique thing about PFL and its ‘tournament/point format’ is that these issues would naturally resolve in the course of the competition. Our client received only half his pay and zero points to progress in the tournament. This is distasteful and unnecessary.
So far, the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission has not responded to messages regarding the Schulte vs. Manfio fight. No suggestion has been made that the fight’s outcome is in dispute.Instead, it seems to be an arbitrary decision by the PFL concerning the playoff format, which the promotion understandably controls. Burgos, a well-known free agent after competing in the UFC, had a 1-1 record during the season and initially didn’t qualify for the playoffs due to insufficient points as per PFL’s rules.Now, Burgos will get the chance to compete for the $1 million prize, while Schulte will have to watch from the sidelines after being ousted from the season by the PFL.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PFL Fighter Suspension Controversy
Why were Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio suspended by the PFL?
Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio were suspended by the Professional Fighters League (PFL) after what was considered an uninspiring match between the two. The PFL nullified Schulte’s unanimous decision victory that initially secured him a place in the 2023 PFL playoffs.
Who was promoted into the PFL 2023 playoffs after Natan Schulte’s suspension?
Shane Burgos, a high-profile free agency signing previously competing in the UFC, was promoted into the PFL 2023 playoffs following Natan Schulte’s suspension. This decision allowed Burgos a chance to compete for the $1 million prize.
What was Natan Schulte’s reaction to the PFL’s decision?
Natan Schulte expressed strong disapproval of the PFL’s decision via Twitter. He urged ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou, who recently joined the PFL Athlete Advisory Board, to use his influence in the organization to question the decision’s fairness.
How did Raush Manfio’s manager respond to the PFL’s decision?
Brian Butler, Manfio’s manager from Suckerpunch Entertainment, issued a statement criticizing the PFL’s decision to penalize his fighter despite no wrongdoing. He expressed that the decision was distasteful and unnecessary.
Has there been any response from the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission regarding the Schulte vs. Manfio fight?
As of the time the text was written, the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission had not responded to messages regarding the Schulte vs. Manfio fight.