(Photo via Ryan Loco)
Eddie Alvarez is a free man. According to a press release sent out by Bellator this afternoon, the promotion has granted the lightweight star his unconditional release, after a rocky history of contract disputes, lawsuits and reconciliations dating back to late 2012. In the end, Bellator president Scott Coker didn’t want to keep Eddie around if he didn’t want to be there. Check out the official statement below:
Newport Beach, Calif. (August 19, 2014) – Bellator President Scott Coker has released a statement regarding Eddie Alvarez:
“We’ve granted Eddie his unconditional release. Eddie is free to explore the free agent market, we hold no matching rights, and we wish him the best in the future. We sat down with Eddie and his team a few times, and it became pretty clear early on that he just wasn’t interested in fighting for Bellator in the future. We want guys in this organization that want to be here, and after the history Eddie and the former regime had here at Bellator, we decided to move on. We wish Eddie the absolute best of luck with whatever is next for him. It’s a new chapter for everyone involved.”
Eddie Alvarez has also released a statement:
“This was a long process but it’s a decision that everyone seems happy with. I think it’s important to say that I am genuinely thankful for my time at Bellator. I know that sounds a little crazy given everything I went through, but I’ve fought there since 2009, and have been involved in some really amazing fights. The staff there always treated me great, and I’m going to miss seeing a lot of those familiar faces around for sure. Myself and my team had some really good discussions with Scott, but in my heart I knew I was ready to move on and start the next chapter in my career.”
Alvarez hasn’t competed since his split-decision victory over Michael Chandler during their rematch at Bellator 106 last November. Alvarez and Chandler were supposed to meet for a rubber-match at Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view event in May, but Alvarez withdrew due to a concussion suffered in training.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Alvarez will sign with the UFC, considering how hard they’ve courted him in the past. We’ll let you know when it’s official.
UPDATE: And it’s official. UFC president Dana White confirmed via Instagram that Alvarez will fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Oh baby. The matchup had been rumored in late July, then put on the back-burner when Cerrone was booked to fight Bobby Green instead. Green will be re-booked on another card.