When Eddie Alvarez re-signed with Bellator MMA – avoiding a long, drawn out contract dispute – most people assumed he entered a contract that was similar to the eight-fight deal the UFC had offered him, and Bellator had claimed to match during his restricted free agency.
Recent speculation, however, has swirled around a Wrestling Observer report that Alvarez’s new contract with Bellator is a two-fight deal that all but guarantees him unrestricted free agency after one or two fights. Supposedly, if Alvarez loses to Michael Chandler on Nov. 2 , he is granted his immediate release… or if he defeats Chandler and then loses or wins the follow-up fight, he is again granted his release.
Whether any of that makes sense or not, Alvarez’s camp claims current media speculation about his contract is off base.
“Recently there has been speculation in the media regarding my settlement with Bellator. The settlement is involved and complicated and contains many contingencies,” Alvarez said in a prepared statement that his camp sent to MMAWeekly.com.
“The terms of the settlement are confidential and neither I, nor my representatives, are going to release these terms to anyone. The speculations, which have been printed, are just that, speculations, and could not possibly be completely accurate as the settlement is over forty (40) pages long.
“I would suggest that these speculations are helping no one, and respectfully request that they cease immediately. All I want to do is fight.”
That Alvarez is nearly guaranteed his release after one or two fights would appear to be a gigantic risk on Bellator and majority owner Viacom’s part. They would be banking on him losing to Chandler on Nov. 2 or at least in another rematch. If not, they would risk him walking away with the belt.
They may be willing to do that with current welterweight champion Ben Askren, but after the dispute with Alvarez, it would seem odd they’d be willing to risk that with him.
Alvarez didn’t exactly deny that contractual scenario, but if his settlement with Bellator is 40 pages long, as he says, it’s unlikely that his walking away from the promotion is that simple.