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Contracts & Lawsuits – Eddie Alvarez, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Go Public With Conflicting Stories on Fighter’s Deal

(“Keep laughing, Eddie, because as soon as you lose that belt, your ass is mine.”) 

Former President Clinton once made infamous the phrase, “It depends on what your definition of the word ’is’ is,” while answering questions from the Independent Counsel’s office on the all-important subject of Monica Lewinsky. With former Bellator lightweight champion/UFC hopeful Eddie Alvarez and his boss, Bjorn Rebney, the discrepancy appears to depend on what one’s definition of the word “matched” is.

It has been no secret that the UFC wants Alvarez under their banner. The top lightweight fought the last fight under his Bellator contract last October but the promotion has the right to match any contract offered to Alvarez and thus keep him with them.

The UFC did indeed recently make an offer to Alvarez, but it is here where the stories from the former champ and the Bellator CEO begin to differ.

First, Alvarez sat down with The MMA Hour and claimed that Bellator had not matched the UFC’s proposed terms. Rebney then went on MMA Weekly Radio and said that his organization had, in fact, matched the UFC’s contract offer to Alvarez, point for point.

And then things got really awkward.

“Everyone’s heard that Bellator has matched and whatnot. It’s a difficult situation,” Alvarez stated. “We went to settlement a couple days ago. We had a settlement meeting where everything was supposed to get worked out. I was sued maybe 30 minutes after that. There’s a lot of tension in the air. We don’t believe it was matched at all. I wanted to give details but I can’t because we’re in the middle of a pending lawsuit. ”

Rebney denied that Bellator did not match the UFC’s contract offer to Alvarez, saying, “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. We matched every single element of it, word for word.”

Well, Taters, I’m no lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but it would appear that either Rebney or Alvarez are lying their asses off here. If Bellator actually copied and pasted the UFC’s offer to Alvarez, we’re not sure how Alvarez could reasonably not see that Bellator had matched the UFC’s contract [Ed note: Based on what I've read, it appears that the biggest discrepancy seems to be in the PPV figures Alvarez was offered by both parties. Whereas the UFC, you know, actually hosts PPV's which Alvarez could cash in on, Bellator's PPV proposal seems more hypothetical than anything. -Danga]. The only good thing that could come from Bellator suing Alvarez is that the contract offers may very well become public information before a court and it might become plain to see who is in the right.

With Rebney and Bellator’s penchant for playing tough with free-agent fighters and then playing it loose and fast with the facts in the media [Ed note: For examples of this, see Tyson Nam and Jay Hieron], Alvarez might be the safer bet to side with for now. One thing is certain, Michael Chandler has to be wondering what he has to do to get his own bidding war between Bellator and the UFC.

- Elias Cepeda

Cagepotato Comments

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dipsetkilla316- January 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm
As for me wat can I say I like a chubby chick
dipsetkilla316- January 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Damn fried taco ur I mean u just pretty much said ur moms that fatted Woman in the world
dipsetkilla316- January 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Fried Taco- January 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm
@Mr_Misanthropy: How dare you complain about that wonderful article of my mom having sex with dipsetkilla 7 times a day!
paperplane- January 8, 2013 at 11:43 am
In Alvarez rebney deal if rebney didn't match then Eddie can go to another promotion. It sounds to me like Eddie is just trying to make excuses to get out of Bellator. I don't think rebney can offer PPV cuts that's probably why Eddie wants out.
paperplane- January 8, 2013 at 11:41 am
@jds one good ear
Restricted free agency is similar but different in every sports league. The negotiating rights to your contract are owned by your first employer, the person can look for other offers, if he accepts, the first employer must match the contract completely or offer more otherwise the person goes to the other team. Some leagues are different in that they Have the "right of first refusal" where they have 7 days to match the offer. If the person or player decides not to go to his first employer, the new club has to give up draft picks or money or something. Each league is different in how they deal with restricted free agency.
In Alvarez rebney
Mr_Misanthropy- January 8, 2013 at 11:36 am

Any advertising links featuring the World's Fattest Woman. I don't even want to see thumbnails of this shit. It's like the whole internet is an enabler.
towelie- January 8, 2013 at 10:14 am
funny, so Bjorn is trying to compare his wording for percentage of non existant PPV to the UFC's actual PPV percentage. good luck to Eddie and the UFC here.

also, back in the day didn't dumbass Bjorn ask Ken Pavia in writing for copies of UFC contracts back in the day to copy the way they were written?
JDS One Good Ear- January 8, 2013 at 10:05 am
Hm. So is he still under contract with Bellator? Sounds like a "restricted free agent" to take a term used in the sporting world. If his contract is expiring, why wouldn't he have the right to choose who he works for. He should be able to work for whoever he wants even if it was a pay cut. I need more details! If he signed a contract that says Bellator has a right to match contracts in the future that seems pretty foolish on his part.
Clyde- January 8, 2013 at 9:48 am
Bjorn also copied the UFC and Zuffa logos and the statement that Alvarez would be fighting at UFC 157 against an opponent to be determined. That's where it all went wrong, they just photocopied the contract and gave it to Alvarez without realising that they're a different company.
Fried Taco- January 8, 2013 at 9:07 am
Bellator also copied the phrase "You will fight the top competition in the world" from the UFC offer.