As one of the top lightweight fighters in the world, Eddie Alvarez was on his way to proving his worth in the most competitive of divisions within the UFC. Coming off some of the most impressive victories of his career, Alvarez was looking better than ever.
The litigious mess he has landed in is something he likely never saw coming. His former boss, Bellator head Bjorn Rebney appeared with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour and had some things to share with fans. It’s apparent that Rebney does not want to let go of Alvarez and is going to do everything he can to keep him with Bellator. “Yeah, sure,” answered Rebney. “It means a resolution that puts Eddie back into the Bellator cage. You know in any situation like this where there is a conflict, you have to be willing to give. You have to be willing to mold. You have to be willing to accept less than you might otherwise have accepted in some circumstances. It’s just the nature of trying to reach resolution instead of putting your foot down hard in the ground and saying, ‘It’s going to be our way or no way.’ That’s just not the way I run a company, and it’s not the way that I think you can effectively approach a conflict if you’re hoping to get it resolved for everyone’s benefit.”
The UFC offered Alvarez a mind numbing contract, one of which Bellator matched word for word. The only problem with that: Bellator does not do PPV and has never hinted at doing as much until the Alvarez deal came about. “Just like there was an expectation on Ed’s part that we would live up to those terms and pay him the money we’ve paid him, and give him the bonuses we gave him, etc. When you sign a contract, you don’t do it so that at some point someone can simply say, ‘I don’t feel like this works for me anymore.’ You sign it, you have good attorneys and managers look over it if you’re a fighter, and you have good attorneys and people look over it if you’re a promoter, and both sides are expected to live up to it. There’s not an expectation that you just have a change of heart and at some point you can just walk away from it. It doesn’t work like that.”
Alvarez made an attempt to call in to the show to talk with Rebney but Rebney denied the request, requesting a private meeting with him instead. The disappointment in Alvarez is very apparent. The man simply wants to fight and knows that sitting out is going to do nothing good for his career.
“Me and him haven’t talked in a while. There’s been a lot of he said, she said, and I just want to clear everything up, you know? I don’t feel like it’s right. He said on air that I have to live up to my end of the bargain. That I have a contract that I’m obligated to, and I feel like I’ve fulfilled that contract through and through. I fought everybody they wanted me to fight, and what I don’t feel like is that they’re fulfilling their end of the contract.”
“The attorneys of Bellator, and these people with Viacom and Spike, they’re telling bold-faced lies to the judge. The judges asks if they had a fight lined up for me. ‘Do you have a fight, a pay-per-view fight, lined up for Eddie Alvarez?’ And the guy waited a second, he looked to the side, he figured out whether to he was going to lie or not, and then decided that, ‘Yeah, I’m going to lie. Because if don’t lie, then Eddie Alvarez is going to win this injunction.’ So he tells the judge, ‘We have the fight for him. We have it. We have it, it’s signed, sealed, we have the fight.’ And then Mike Chandler does an interview two days later saying, ‘We never heard anything about a fight with Eddie Alvarez. Anything.’ And I know that he didn’t hear anything. I know from inside sources that they don’t have anything.
In the meantime, Alvarez will continue to polish his skills as one of the top lightweights in the world with hopes of moving to the UFC and ultimately getting that title shot he seeks in the organizations most competitive division.
You can catch The MMA Hour on MMAFighting.com. Portions of this article were selected from Bjorn Rebney’s interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
Click the break to view the entire show.