It’s Gonna Get Ugly: Eddie Alvarez and Bellator Sparring Over “Matching” UFC Offer

January 10, 2013
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Eddie Alvarez at Dream 1It’s been no secret over the past couple months that the UFC was targeting top lightweight fighter Eddie Alvarez once he fulfilled his contract with Bellator Fighting Championships.

The UFC went after and signed Alvarez’s fellow former Bellator champion Hector Lombard in 2012, but that situation was cut-and-dry compared with where things are headed in regards to Alvarez severing ties and making his way to the Octagon.

Alvarez completed all the bouts on his Bellator contract with his last trip to the cage, but now finds himself mired in the legal entanglement of contracts and matching rights.

The UFC has offered Alvarez a contract, but due to Bellator’s right to offer a matching contract to retain him, there’s no clear finish line ahead.

Although most people expected Alvarez to jump to the UFC as soon as he signed with the MMA juggernaut, thinking there was no way that Bellator could match a UFC contract term for term, Bellator is trying to argue that they can and will match the UFC’s offer.

UFC president Dana White indicated the situation was on a downward spiral following UFC 155 in Las Vegas, when he confirmed to the media, including, that he was trying to sign Eddie Alvarez, but that he expected the situation was “gonna get ugly” before we all find out just where Alvarez ends up fighting.

The UFC’s offer included many facets that it wouldn’t immediately seem that Bellator could match, according to details of the offer uncovered by Sports Illustrated. also independently acquired an reviewed the complaint.

The UFC intends to put Alvarez on pay-per-view, including a pay-per-view bonus. They also intend to put him on at least one network televised event on Fox. These are two of the key sticking points that most feel that Bellator can’t match, but they say they can.

“Ed went out and got an offer from the UFC, and we took a look at that offer, reviewed it for about eight days, and decided to match it dollar for dollar, deal point for deal point, term for term,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMAWeekly Radio on Monday.

“We matched every single element of it, word for word.”

Matching dollar for dollar is the easy part, but for a promotion that hasn’t ever operated a pay-per-view compared to one that has run more than 100 pay-per-view events, it would seem difficult to equate the bonus money that Alvarez might receive for a pay-per-view to being a match.

Saying that Bellator could match the UFC’s offer of a guaranteed fight on Fox’s broadcast network television channel versus a bout on basic cable channel Spike TV is also another bone of contention.

Following Alvarez’s refusal to sign Bellator’s “matching” offer because he and his team didn’t feel it truly did match the UFC’s contract, Bellator filed a lawsuit against it’s former champion and he in turn filed a countersuit.

Fans and pundits alike can argue the merits of the terms and the matching offer to no end, but in the end, it is the courts that will likely decide Alvarez’s fate. And as White stated, “it’s gonna get ugly” before the dust settles and we learn where Alvarez will next ply his trade.

Key points of Eddie Alvarez’s UFC offer:

• Eight-fight contract. Show purse and win bonus start at $70,000 each, adding an addition $5,000 to each if Alvarez wins his bouts. So if Alverez were to win his first seven fights, the eighth would pay $105,000 to show and $105,000 to win.

• Intent that Alvarez’s first UFC bout would be a UFC lightweight title shot with the bout taking place before the end of March 2013.

• Pay-per-view bonus starting at $1.00 for any PPV buys between 200,000 and 400,000 per event, increasing to $2.00 for any PPV buys between 400,000 and 600,000 per event, and climbing to $2.50 per buy over 600,000 per event.

• Guarantees one bout on Fox.

• Guarantees a minimum of three appearances as a commentator for other UFC events that he is not fighting on.

• $250,000 signing bonus. (Payable in installments of $85,000 following each of his first two fight and $80,000 following his third fight.)

Key points of difference in Eddie Alvarez’s Bellator matching offer:

• A fight on Spike TV vs. UFC’s offer of a fight on Fox.

• Spike TV produced behind-the-scenes special on Alvarez, which includes a $25,000 payment to Alvarez.

• A coaching position on the second season of Bellator’s new reality TV series, which includes a $100,000 payment to Alvarez. The coaching position requires that Alvarez first must win back the Bellator lightweight championship.

• A guest-host position on Spike TV’s “Road to the Championship” show.

Stay tuned to for all the latest updates on Eddie Alvarez’s situation.

  • Joey

    Maybe Bjorn just can’t read or he doesnt know what the phrase “word for word” means. Someone should probably help him with that.

    If it were word for word, it would be exactly the same. Not different in 4 or 5 different areas. Seems a bit shady to me…

  • King_DG

    I don’t understand why the UFC wants this dude so bad?! He would get destroyed in the UFC by any of the top 5 lightweights.
    Bellator’s offer is weak

  • Bjorn Rebney

    I was worried that Eddie would get destroyed so I matched the UFC’s offer to save his career

  • JasonDecipher

    Bellator is suing Alvarez because he didnt sign with them? Thats what we call CHICKEN S#¡+!!!!

  • poooooooo

    Wow the UFC deal looks way better.

  • Scottyprugby7

    Let him go bellator. He would not get destroyed by the top 5 he would be a contender. Rebney will get bought out soon .

  • Cuntlick

    Good business decision by UFC to sign Eddie. Eddie probably won’t be a champion and it’s another way to show the audience “look, these top fighters from other organization ain’t ****” small money to UFC to depromote Bellator

  • Cuntlick

    Make total sense for UFC to sign Eddie. If Eddie become the champ they did the right thing. If Eddie loses, they still did the right thing. It shows these other top fighters from other organizations can’t hang with the UFC boys. Very “small” investment to UFC

  • It will hurt Eddies career big time if he moves to the UFC and doesn’t perform. Then a bunch of fans will talk trash about how he’s just a can crusher. It’s a shame. It’s a rough game. Either way best of luck to the guy. Even if he doesn’t perform well in the UFC that doesn’t mean the guy isn’t a talented fighter b/c he is. Him vs Gray Maynard or Gil Mel. would be sick.

    • Advance*

      He already lost his Bellator title so now’s the time to go to the big leagues and try to cash in. It’s a risky move but so is fighting relative no-names in a smaller organization. If you’re gonna go out you should want it to be against the best

      • Maddawgmar

        I agree m. If I was Eddie I would rather, attempt going for greatness and possibly losing, rather than being someone that no names try to make a name off of. I happen to be a part of a few that thinks Eddie can do well in the UFC. Maybe never win the title, but be a solid type like a Lauzon or Cerrone.

      • UFC isn’t just about the money, they offer the best fighters in the rankings to go against. Unless he feels maybe he wants to rematch Chandler. Idk.

        • Advance*

          That’s why I said he should want it to be against the best

  • StealingFire

    None of you guys can read. That list isn’t the sum of Bellator’s offer. Bellator matched what the UFC put up note for note and then offered those additional benefits. Except that they couldn’t rightly guarantee Alvarez a spot on Fox when they don’t have a TV deal with Fox.

  • just sayin’

    I have no idea why the UFC would offer a 1/4 million dollar signing bonus to a guy who and unranked fighter (outside top ten at least) who got finished by Michael Chandler and gets knocked on his ass by B level fighters in most of his fights. He must have a way bigger following than I thought.

    I’m not gonna lie, I consider being a top guy in Bellator to carry as much weight as being the starting point guard on junior varsity… it means jack $hit until you can back it up with the big boys.

    IF he goes to the UFC and is getting paid that kind of money they aren’t going to put him in the cage with Codie McKenzie, he’s going to be fighting guys like Bendo, Maynard, Miller, Pettis, Melendez…. and I’d be SHOCKED if he could even be a .500% fighter in matchups like that.

    He should take the Bellator deal. He’ll win and won’t wind up getting cut after 3-4 fights.

  • Johnny Lopes

    obviously take the UFC deal.. cause Bellator will still pay him if he gets cut from UFC after a few loses…. UFC wont pay him if he loses to Bellator guys… common sense take UFC …. the PPV Bonus’ alone is worth it

  • bpbsax

    Why has mma weekly chosen to write the column as if Eddie is weighing his options?? Its clear Eddie wants to jump to the ufc and born rebz is doing whatever he can to stop him.
    The article should say “Born Rebz attempting to block eddies jump to the big league”
    Born needs to wake up and understand he is and always will be the Jr league and quit trying to hold onto fighters with skill and ambition. Viacom is no Fox, spike is no Fx or Fox, and be
    Bellator is no Ufc. He will succeed and not ruin a good thing he has a Jr league and the best Jr league out there in the USA. Or he all soon be another affliction /strikforce/pride.
    Ufc won’t buy them out , they willbe controlled by Viacom and spike TV and ruined and fade away……

  • humby49

    love the contract details in this story, nice reporting. Now we see how much some of these guys really make beyond the reported base salary and fight bonuses

  • Timothy Malone

    Wow that’s a way better deal than Alvarez deserves given his current standing. An immediate title shot for a guy that lost the Bellator belt?