Bellator Making Hard Push to Keep Eddie Alvarez

October 25, 2012
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Eddie Alvarez at Dream 3 in JapanWhen Eddie Alvarez defeated Patricky “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 76 and officially entered free agency, most just penciled in the former lightweight champion as a lock to end up with the UFC.

On the night of his victory, UFC President Dana White sent Alvarez a message via Twitter saying “congrats bro, let’s talk”.

The message from Bellator Fighting Championships back very well might read “not so fast”.

According to Alvarez’s manager, Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management, Bellator is pushing hard to keep their former champion right where he is as they make their transition to Spike TV in 2013.

“Bjorn and Eddie had a great conversation and had some great talks. Bjorn has expressed interest in keeping Eddie, and talks have gone really well, and that’s all I can really say at this point,” Robinson told this week.

The last major free agent that Bellator had on its roster was former middleweight champion Hector Lombard, who signed with the UFC earlier this year. The American Top Team fighter was undefeated during his time with Bellator as their 185lb champion, but once his contract was up he left and moved over to the UFC.

Alvarez, who has been with Bellator since their inception in 2009, has been the face of the promotion and one of their biggest stars.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney knows that and he’s doing his best to make sure Alvarez remains with the company for the foreseeable future.

“Talks have gone really well with Bellator and Eddie just wants to fight the best fighters he can, and get a contract he feels is fair, but I can tell you Bjorn has gone out of his way to make Eddie feel welcome and talks have gone well so far, so we’ll see what the future brings,” said Robinson.

No decision is likely to happen in the next few weeks as Bellator continues to negotiate with Alvarez and his management team during an exclusive contract period.

Whether he signs somewhere tomorrow or in 3 months, Alvarez just wants to make the best decision possible for his career.

“He doesn’t want to sit out too long so we’d like to get things wrapped up. At the end of the day, Bellator has a 90-day negotiating period, so we’re finishing talks with them and we have to see where things go with that,” Robinson stated.

“Yeah he’d like to fight right away, but he doesn’t want to rush to make a deal either, make a hasty deal because he’s in a rush. He’s a very smart guy, and we’ve got to take our time, take it one step at a time to get ultimately where he needs to be.”

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  • Bellator has talented fighters. Great promotion. On the business side of contracts and deals I have no clue what their about so I cant say anything. But losing Alvarez will hurt not only them but it hurts guys who are up and coming to get a shot at him. Best of luck to him though. Would love to see him and Melendez fight in UFC against each other one day.

  • Timothy Malone

    If Eddie was champ this would be an easy choice with there being nowhere left to go in Bellator. But you have to think a certain part of Alvarez thinks he can beat Chandler and wants that loss off his record…

    • yossgold

      Maybe, but then what? A rematch with Chandler? Ok, that’s 2 fights, then what? Rematch with Pitbull? You see where I’m going here?

      A fighter of Eddie’s caliber wants to have more than one or two big fights (big fights = big payday) in their promotion.

      Eddie’s going to sign with the UFC. He just wants to flaunt other offers before he actually sits down with them with their final offer.

      • Timothy Malone

        Well I was assuming Alvarez would want his belt back, so that would actually be four fights after he goes through the tournament. But the whole thing gets screwed up if Chandler loses to the last tournament winner Rick Hawn.

  • yossgold

    Blah, blah, blah … all of the Bellator/OneFC talk are just leverage tactics for when they sit down with the UFC.

    Bibiano’s signing with OneFC will also helped Eddie because he showed them that top fighters aren’t automatically going to sign with the UFC just because they’re the biggest.

    I think that Eddie wants to fight in the UFC, but he wants to earn top $ while doing so. Offers from OneFC and Bellator will achieve exactly that.

  • ChicagoMMAFan

    Really, so Eddie’s agent didn’t say “nah, screw Bellator, Eddie’s ONLY signing with UFC.” Of course his agent said this.
    “Star” is a relative term for Bellator, with MTV2 their ratings showed little consistency and seems to fluctuate based on no evident factors. Bellator’s success on Spike hinges on many factors, one of them won’t be whether not Alvarez is on their roster on January 1, 2013.
    As an MMA fan, I want to see Eddie in the UFC, he’s a great fighter and I want to see him get top fights on a regular basis.

  • If he wants to fight the best fighters he can…it’s pretty clear where he has to go. If as he said last week apparently, he wants the most money…..he can stay where he is.