According to a report in The Independent, Neymar’s French bodyguard, Nordine Taleb, was savagely knocked out in the second round of his welterweight fight of UFC Moncton at the weekend.
The 37-year-old, who is a mixed martial artist, was reportedly hired by the £520,000-a-week Brazilian star last August to be his personal bodyguard after signing for Paris Saint German for a world record fee of €222 million from Barcelona.
Nordine juggles his time between competing and protecting the PSG star. However, his UFC career is in tatters after being handed his second consecutive defeat by American Sean Strickland in New Brunswick, Canada.
A succession of right hands for Strickland and some vicious ground and pound was enough to convince the referee to stop the contest in the second.
Since being appointed as Neymar’s bodyguard, Taleb is 1-2 in the UFC and (given his age) is reportedly in danger of being released.
Sean Strickland (20-3) closes his contract in style, careening Nordine Taleb with multiple right hands en route to a second-round TKO! Now 7-3 in the UFC, “Tarzan” earns his 13th career finish. Taleb is knocked out for the first time since his second pro bout (2008). #UFCMoncton pic.twitter.com/DP7ygBA5he
— Tanuki Usman (@Hamderlei) October 28, 2018
The brutally beaten Frenchman complained about the stoppage on social media after he was forced into overtime after his client was pelted with coins, bottles and even baguettes during the game, the result stands and he may well have to focus on his career as an enforcer for the rich and famous.
The report stated that while the MMA fighter was recovering from his loss, Neymar was helping PSG extend their winning run in Ligue 1 to 11 games as the league leaders thrashed Marseille 2-0 at the Stade Velodrome.
On 3 August 2017, Barcelona announced that Neymar’s legal representatives made a payment of €222 million to the club (most expensive transfer ever), equal to the release clause of his contract. The club informed UEFA so that they can determine any disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case. According to the BBC, in Spain, the release clause must be activated by the footballer himself.
The situation was unusual, in that the fee was paid to the club directly, after La Liga had refused to receive the payment. Usually, the buyout clause is deposited with La Liga in order to release the player from his contract, and the league then passes the money to the selling club.
However, La Liga rejected the payment—citing violation of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by PSG, who are backed by money from Gulf state Qatar. Neymar joined French club Paris Saint-Germain on a contract that would run until 2022. He was offered the number 10 jersey by Javier Pastore as a “welcome gift”.
On 27 August 2017, FC Barcelona filed a lawsuit against Neymar, demanding he return the contract renewal bonus he received as well as €8.5 million in damages and an additional 10% for the arrears.
They claimed they are owed money that Neymar received as part of a renewal bonus when he signed a new contract in 2016. The club also requested Paris Saint-Germain to take on the responsibility for the payment of the fees if the player cannot do so himself. Neymar’s lawyers announced that they will contest the case.