This past week, former Bellator Champion Eddie Alvarez was in the news again, talking about his contractual dispute with Bellator. Bellator President Bjorn Rebney fired back, defending his company’s position and promising to draw out the saga. The bottom line is this- when will we see Eddie Alvarez in action again? right now if you anwered 2013, you would probably be wrong….
When the two last met in court, Bellator walked away with a victory, as the court decided that the Bellator ‘cut and paste, edit and replace’ job Bjorn did on the UFC’s contract offer was a valid offer.
This would be enough to get most fighters to sign the contract, since the prospect of a year without the income generated by fighting would be scary to most fighters.
Alvarez however, is a different case. He has been a top draw for several years now outside of UFC; and he has made money. He has a family with three young children to take care of.
Alvarez’ ratcheted up rhetoric and Bjorn’s own words confirm that the sides are growing further apart, and that a resolution is not in sight.
The only option Alvarez’ reasonably has is to not sign Bellator’s offer. He then has to wait until the contract expires.
Now, the UFC could come back and make a bigger offer, one that Bellator would not be able to match, but they are unlikely to do that. As strong an addition as Alvarez would be to the UFC’s roster, they do not want to overpay, especially in a weight class where they are stacked.
Rebney could release alvarez outright, waiving his right to match Alvarez’ offers, but REbney has stated that basically the line has been drawn with Alvarez, and that he will not release him and give up the rights that the court decided were Bellator’s.
So some time in November or thereabouts, Alvarez will be completely free from responsibility to Bellator and will sign with the UFC. He will make his debut in early 2014 at some point, and this whole dispute with Bellator will have cost one of the most exciting fighters around a year in the prime of his career. It is a shame it had to be that way.