Former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez will continue fighting, although the fight is going to remain outside of the cage for the foreseeable future.
Alvarez, upon completing the final bout of his Bellator contract back in October, was free to explore a contract with the UFC. Bellator retained the right to match any offer presented.
He received a UFC offer, which Bellator agreed to match.
Alvarez declined Bellator’s offer, saying that it wasn’t a true matching offer.
UFC president Dana White, when discussing his company’s interest in Alvarez back in December, said, “It’s gonna get ugly.”
And he was correct.
As soon as Alvarez declined Bellator’s “matching” offer, his most recent employer filed a lawsuit, to which his legal team filed a counter suit.
Alvarez went to court again on Friday in an attempt to get a preliminary injunction against Bellator Sport Worldwide, LLC. U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares, however, denied Alvarez’s application.
Had the injunction been granted, Alvarez would have been allowed to accept an offered April 27 bout at UFC 159 and be part of the Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen fight card in New Jersey.
Alvarez and his legal team were unable to satisfy to key factors that the court considered: (1) whether the movant has a reasonable probability of success on the merits; and (2) whether irreparable harm would result if the relief sought is not granted.
Key points of Alvarez’s argument were that Bellator, even if they were to promote their first ever pay-per-view event, could not match the amount of revenue and exposure that a UFC pay-per-view would generate, and that Bellator’s idea that putting Alvarez in fights on Spike TV was equal in value to the UFC putting Alvarez in fights on Fox.
Linares was not swayed enough to order a preliminary injunction against Bellator, even though wording in his order indicated that Alvarez may have a case if he continues to fight Bellator in legal proceedings.
“The Court recognizes that the differences between Fox Network Television and Spike TV may be such that the Court (or a jury) would ultimately find that Alvarez should prevail on his counterclaim because of Bellator’s failure to match Zuffa’s contract,” wrote Linares. “At this juncture, however, the Court cannot make such a finding based on the record before it. Accordingly, the Court must conclude that Alvarez has not shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits even though it is not foreclosing the possibility that he may ultimately prevail on the merits of his counterclaim.
“Even assuming arguendo that Alvarez had established a reasonable probability of success on the merits, the Court would nonetheless have to deny his application for a preliminary injunction because Alvarez has not sustained his burden of showing that irreparable harm would result from the Court’s failure to grant the relief he requests.”
The situation is now mired in the legal process, and only promises to get uglier before we find out when, where, and for whom Eddie Alvarez will next be fighting.
(Bellator vs. Eddie Alvarez court documents courtesy of The Fight Lawyer)