If you are a die-hard MMA fan you are well aware of the Eddie Alvarez contract situation between Bellator MMA and the UFC. We’ve been on and written a couple of pieces regarding UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson’s reaction to the UFC’s reported offer to Alvarez. We also wrote about some of the angles that may influence whether Bellator re-signs Alvarez or not well before the UFC contract offer was made available.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is holding fast to his story that they have matched the UFC contract line for line. It’s a statement that Alvarez disagrees with and now the two parties have filed suit against one another. Rebney isn’t shying away from questions about the deal as he spoke exclusively with Sherdog.com:
The most intriguing part of the interview is the part where Rebney talked about if this situation was a line in the sand regarding current Bellator champions approaching the end of their contract. Rebney stated:
“No, it wasn’t a draw a line in the sand. When Eddie Alvarez fought Patricky [Pitbull] and we were up in Canada…before Eddie went to the post-fight celebration…Eddie came and sat with me and we spend about an hour and a half sitting on a couch in the lobby of the hotel at the Windsor right outside of Detroit and we talked…and I said to him point blank. Look, if you get a Hector deal, good luck brother…I’m gonna wish you all the luck in the world…go out and knockout Benson Henderson…nothing would make me happier…that would be awesome for us…good luck, I’m not going to match it.”
Rebney is referring to former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard who vacated his Bellator title to sign with the UFC in 2012. Rebney indicated that the offer the UFC made was much smaller than what they anticipated, and that they felt it was a good business move to match it and try to retain Alvarez as a fighter.
Check out the interview and be sure to stay close to ProMMAnow (www.prommanow.com) as the Eddie Alvarez saga unfolds.