by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
Reports that Eddie Alvarez was Japan bound this fall spread quickly after his lightweight championship run in Bellator FC.
Initially, the word was that Alvarez’s contract with the tournament based promotion ruled out a bout with Tatsuya Kawajiri for Dream in September.
After speaking with Alvarez rep Monte Cox and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney this week, the story is the same, but the reason is a little different.
Alvarez just wants a break.
“Just hanging out at the pool with Eddie after the (Bellator) win, I can tell you that all Eddie wants to do is relax and eat some pizza,” said Rebney.
“We agreed that win or lose, he would take three months off,” Cox agreed. “He’s had like six fights in a year, and at the level of fights he’s fighting, not too many bums in there. He’s had a heck of a run. If he’s going to take July, August, and September off, he’s not going to fight in September, that’s for sure. It doesn’t give him any time to train.”
Rebney echoed an earlier interview with MMAWeekly.com where he opened the door to fighter loan-outs that made sense, and said a future Alvarez appearance overseas might be possible.
“If Eddie came back and said, ‘man, I’d like to get back in the cage,’ (around a) September time frame, and there was the right opportunity out there, be it in Japan or wherever, I’d talk about it and we’d figure out if there was a way to make it work,” said Rebney.
Bellator’s second season is targeted to begin in October, and will focus on a challenger tournament to determine four contenders to the current titleholders in the featherweight through middleweight classes. An announcement on the promotion’s broadcast partners is forthcoming.
Rebney and Cox expect Alvarez to sit out four to five months as the next challenger is groomed. If he wants a fight before that, a sit-down will be needed.
“The reality is from a contractual perspective, we have the ability to approve or not approve one of those outside fights happening,” said Rebney. “But my first inclination would be to get on the phone with folks and say, hey, what can we do, how can we make this work, what can we do together? As opposed to taking the closed-door approach where we say, no, they’ll only fight guys that are under contract with us.”
Switching to his fan hat, Rebney said Kawajiri was a good match-up.
“That would be a cool fight, wouldn’t it?” he said. “He hasn’t had the best run as of late, but still, he’s a magical fighter at 155. That isn’t a fight I would mind watching.”