What’s Next for Eddie Alvarez, Bellator or the UFC?

April 24, 2012
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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…

  • Hopefully he goes to the UFC but I wouldnt be surprised to hear he stays with Bellator. They will probably use their resources to try to keep either him or Hector Lombard, and the UFC is more likely to strongly compete for Lombard. So it would make sense for Bellator to let him go and offer Alvarez a great deal, though he probably wants a title shot rematch without going through the tournament and I dont see how they do that without losing alot of their credibility.

  • maddawgmar

    I think he will take the UFC offere if there is one. He made 50k just to fight and 50k for the win, that is not enough bread to stay in Bellator. He can easily make a six figured contract in the UFC. But don’t be surprised if they pit him Strikeforce to fight Gil.

    • Thats actually not true as far as just plain salary goes. At UFC 144, champion Frankie Edgar was paid 51000 show/51000 win, a little more than Alvarez. But Henderson was only 30,000/30,000 and Pettis was 10,000/10,000. Why would Alvarez make so much more money than them?

      • markrenton

        The salary is just one aspect of how these fighters get paid. You have to keep in mind that if you fight in a UFC main event , you get a portion of the Pay Per View buys. I have to imagine that a fighter like Eddie would also be earning a few fight/knockout of the night bonuses too. Bottom line is he should be fighting in the UFC. Not just for money, but because this dude is a competitor. Bellator is definitely improving, but they just cant provide the same lightweight competition as the UFC.

  • 4 months or 1 fight, that’s how long he has left on his contract until the negotiations process can begin.

    It’s time for Eddie to go to the UFC and this might be his last opportunity.

  • D-rail

    Gil should go to Bellator to instead and compete for that belt. Dana would rather bring Eddie to the UFC and keep Gil defending against bottom feeders. That’s not a way to end your career as a true competitor. Besides, Chandler already striped Eddie so what’s that bidding war all about?

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