MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz issued a statement apologizing to Monster Energy executive Hans Molenkamp. Abdelaziz manages some of the most elite UFC fighters that include Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kamaru Usman, Henry Cejudo, and Cody Garbrandt – all of whom are current or former titleholders in the UFC.
Back in March 2021, the manager had accused Molenkamp of trying to lure his fighters away from him by extending lucrative sponsorship deals.
Abdelaziz offered his apologies in a lengthy tweet and admitted that he had leveled accusations against Hans Molenkamp based on a misunderstanding involving his clients. Ali Abdelaziz tweeted:
“I would like to address a comment I made about Hans Molenkamp earlier this year. My comment was based on a misunderstanding involving one of my clients, which Hans and I have clarified since. I value the truth and always want to admit if I am wrong. I apologize to Hans.”
During a post-fight interview at the UFC 259 event, former UFC champion Dominick Cruz accused Monster Energy Executive Hans Molenkamp of misrepresenting his relationship with other UFC fighters to enhance his own reputation on social media. Ali Abdelaziz had backed Cruz’s claim at the time.
Monster Energy is one of the major sponsors of the UFC. Hans Molenkamp, the director of Monster Energy for combat sports, has routinely posted videos of himself pulling off practical jokes on UFC fighters. It is widely believed that the jokes are usually staged to play by Molenkamp’s rules so that fighters can keep their sponsorship deals.
“My champions refused to play his game so he never gave them a sponsor” – Ali Abdelaziz
Ali Abdelaziz posted the video of Dominick Cruz’s interview on his Instagram account in March 2021. In the caption, Abdelaziz claimed that Hans Molenkamp had other managers try to ‘steal’ Henry Cejudo, Cody Garbrandt and Kamaru Usman away from him. Abdelaziz also stated that those fighters never got the Monster Energy sponsorship deal for refusing to defect from Abdelaziz.
“Today Dominic Cruz shined a light on a very sad situation in MMA. This monster sponsorship guy is like a modern day slave master. Making hall of famers, UFC champion and some people I really respect kiss his ass. He tried to get some of my champions to play his game but they did not do it. So for that reason he never gave them a sponsor,” Ali Abdelaziz wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.
One of the ex-employees of Monster Energy, a photographer named Courtney Hendo, did an expose on Molenkamp on his YouTube channel earlier this year. Hendo stated that everybody in the combat sports community is aware of Hans Molenkamp’s actions. However, the financial value brought in by the brand is too high for anyone to take action against him.