Following his victory over Dream champion Shinya Aoki at Friday night’s Bellator 66, it sounds as if former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez could find himself in the middle of a battle for his services.
Coming up on the end of his contract with Bellator, Alvarez is becoming a highly sought after commodity.
While he didn’t let any details slip, UFC president Dana White this weekend said, “I think Eddie Alvarez is a great fighter. We’re always looking to get the best fighters in the UFC, and he’s one of them.”
His Cheshire grin in response to questions about whether or not he would pursue Alvarez certainly left little doubt that he would, but Alvarez’s current boss also wants to keep him in the fold.
“It’s coming up on four years and that’s the length of the deal when you win world titles and the extensions are done. We don’t have any champion’s clauses in our contracts, which locks guys in for life, so those contracts are going to come to an end. You’re going to have a brief exclusive negotiation period, and when that ends you’re going to have the right to match an offer that anybody else would make, and we’ve got the right to match,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMAWeekly.com recently.
Asked if he would try to keep Alvarez in the fold following his victory over Aoki, Rebney commented, “I don’t think he’s left me with a lot of choice, do you?”
For Alvarez, he has no bone to pick with Bellator, but he does have a couple of factors he considers chief when it concerns his career.
“It’s the financial situation, as well as my ability to grow in whatever company I’m fighting for,” Alvarez told MMAWeekly.com after knocking out Aoki. “Money does mean a lot, but I also want to be able to grow in whatever company I’m at, which means I want to be able to fight the best guys in the world.”
Bellator, as Alvarez was quick to point out, did line him up with a top fighter in Aoki, but keeping Alvarez stocked with world-class opponents could prove difficult. The UFC has a chokehold on the largest portion of the world’s top fighters in just about every division.
Alvarez hasn’t said one way or the other where he prefers to fight, but he heaped praise on his current employer.
“I’ve been with Bellator for four years now and I have a pretty good relationship with Bjorn Rebney and the people here at Bellator and they’ve treated me nothing but good. I’m happy to be here and whatever comes next, comes next.”
Check out MMAWeekly.com’s interview with Eddie Alvarez by Brandon New…