Eddie Alvarez has been in the news heavily as of late, and unfortunately, the focus is not centered around his fighting talents. As reported last week, Bellator FC has exercised their option to match any contract offer tendered to Alvarez by the UFC. Now, after Alvarez appeared yesterday on “The MMA Hour,” it appears that the plot has thickened considerably.
Alvarez proclaimed that he is being sued by Bellator over the contract dispute after it was widely believed that his former boss Bjorn Rebney had given him his walking papers freely last year. What’s more, Alvarez wholly disputed the report that Bellator matched the UFC’s offer, calling their offer “McDonald’s” to the UFC’s “fine dining.” Rebney was quick to dispute this statement, offering the following to MMA Fighting:
"I will tell you point blank, no questions asked, we matched it dollar for dollar, term for term and section for section. To avoid any kind of ambiguity, let me make clear, we took the UFC contract, we took it out of the PDF format, we changed the name 'UFC' to 'Bellator' and we signed it. We didn't alter a word, we didn't alter a phrase, we didn't alter a section, we didn't alter a dollar figure."
So it appears that the truth in the matter is somewhere in between the two sides of the tale. Alvarez’s offer was said to have a $70,000 number to show with another $70,000 to win. An attractive $250,000 signing bonus was also on the table for Alvarez. This apparently caused a huge rift with the UFC’s current Lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who expressed his disdain upon Twitter last night. Henderson reported that he makes $39,000 to both show and win.
But that controversy will easily pail in comparison to the mess created between Alvarez and Rebney, who had previously been working partners with an overall positive professional relationship. Rebney obviously doesn’t have the overall bargaining power presented by the UFC, and felt some tension when Alvarez showed up on a call with a team of six attorneys. Rebney continued:
"Ed and I have four years of a good working relationship and about 30 days of not a good relationship. When you weigh those factors out, there's a very high likelihood we could shake hands and get past it with a fair amount of ease. Ed's in business and as you can see from the numbers, it can be a very lucrative business. I know I can shove off and move forward, put things back in line in short order. I hope Ed can do the same. It may be a long, drawn out fight between the two or something that can be settled relatively quickly. We'll see."
Rebney may think that the situation can be remedied easily, and Alvarez was automatically thought to have been going to the UFC when his Bellator contract expired in October. Now, seeing the former Bellator champ in the Octagon could be all the way at the end of an ugly battle full of red tape.