With all eyes on the UFC closing the year with UFC 155, President Dana White has been before the media all week and he revealed the status of several contract signings for 2013. The big news was that Eddie Alvarez has a contract offer from the UFC, and it is in Bellator’s hands to match the offer. The other news is that Strikeforce Heavyweight Daniel Cormier has a new contract inked and that the UFC is looking to set up a match up with Frank Mir for April.
Daniel Cormier versus Frank Mir had been made as a match for one of the cancelled STRIKEFORCE events, and Cormier was coming in as a favorite for that fight. If the match does go through for one of the UFC events in the April timeframe, things won’t be any different. Cormier has a match against unheralded Dutchman Dion Staring in a match where the odds massively favor Cormier.
What is exciting about the Cormier signing is that Cormier has announced an intention to fight 4 times in 2013, and he is teasing the possibility of going to 205. Cormier is considered to pose a potential threat to Jon Jones because of his overall toughness and wrestling, and that is exciting.
Alvarez may prove to be a more complicated case. Alvarez is a trophy as far as free agency is concerned, and if Bellator chooses to match the UFC’s offer, Alvarez will be stuck in the B league. Quite frankly, Bellator has not shown any of the ability to make stars that the UFC has, and if their sputtering start to Season 8 on SPIKE is any indication, then they will not be able to create an atmosphere where Alvarez is competing at the highest level. But Dana White was in the media ‘no commenting’ on the negotiations, referring to them as having the potential to ‘get ugly’.
Alvarez is at no fault here. He is a high performance athlete and he has a family with three kids at 28 to provide for. He needs to go to the highest offer.
For all Bellator President Bjorn Rebney wants to talk about SPIKE, and partnering with TnA and expansion, Bellator has been inept. The fact is that Alvarez is their biggest star, and he was signed by them with already considerable name recognition. He has stagnated in Bellator, he has not blown up and there is no reason to think things will be different this time around.
Dana is a star maker. Dana is a guy who is a millionaire, as is Rebney. The difference is that Dana has made millionaires and more than a few, while Rebney is stuck in his $100k tournament format that is 4 years old. So Dana, make Eddie a millionaire too, so we can see him fight at the highest level.