Bjorn Rebney on dispute over matching Eddie Alvarez's UFC offer: 'We didn't alter a word'
When Bjorn Rebney launched Bellator in 2008, Eddie Alvarez was his first big splash. Rebney gave the lightweight star a $100,000 signing bonus and made him a building block for the organization, and Alvarez took it from there, becoming a champion within it. The relationship between the two thrived to a point where the men built a friendship that transcended the employer-employee dynamic.
Within the last few days though, that bond has been at least partially fractured by a contract dispute that has led to dueling lawsuits and a cloudiness over Alvarez's future.
The issue shortly after Bellator waived its exclusive negotiating period, allowing Alvarez to take his talents to the open market. As expected, the UFC approached Alvarez about a deal that would bring his talents to its octagon, and Alvarez quickly signed an offer sheet. Under the terms of a clause in his Bellator contract, that promotion had a right to match the UFC offer, and that's where things get murky.
Bellator sues 'betrayed' Eddie Alvarez, fight future in limbo pending lawsuit
When Eddie Alvarez fulfilled the final fight on his Bellator contract last October, he did so in impressive fashion by disposing of Patricky Freire in the very first round via knockout.
The performance only raised the lightweight's stock further, making him a very hot commodity Bellator clearly wanted to keep and one Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) obviously wanted on its roster. UFC president Dana White knew obtaining the talents of the former 155-pound champion wouldn't be easy. As a matter of fact, the brash head honcho of the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization hinted last week that it would get downright "ugly."
Apparently, White was on to something.
After Zuffa finally made an official contract offer to "The Silent Assassin," Bellator proceeded to match it, leaving the next move up the Lorenzo Fertitta and White, which has yet to be made.
Bellator announces Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev tournament final February 21
Bellator is full speed ahead on their upcoming debut season on Spike TV, with a constant stream of quality fight announcements. The latest is a bit of unfinished business from the recently completed season 7.
On February 21, Bellator will hold their season 7 Featherweight tournament final of Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev. This fight was originally scheduled for Bellator 83 in December, but had to be scrapped at the last minute due to a Shamhalaev illness.
Notable about this show is that it will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, close to Martinez's Utah home. Bellator is big on taking advantage of hometown crowds, and placing this fight in Utah should mean a very rabid and partisan crowd. Martinez is a pretty amazing story, putting together a 14-2 record (4-0 in Bellator) while also taking care of his paraplegic father. He's shown amazing guts and drive throughout the tournament, and it will be great to see him in front of a hometown crowd.
Bellator 85 set with 11 fights, includes Guymon vs. Young, Williams vs. Yager
The 11-bout lineup for Bellator MMA's first Season 8 event, "Bellator 85: Chandler vs. Hawn," is now complete with a three-fight main card and a seven-fight preliminary card that features MMA notables Mike "Joker" Guymon, Jason Lambert, Seth Petruzelli, Hector Ramirez and Jamie Yager.
Bellator 85 is the promotion's first on Spike TV after moving over from its recent television home at MTV2.
The evening's complete lineup now includes:
Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn - for lightweight title
Renato Sobral vs. Mikhail Zayats - light heavyweight tournament opening round
Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire - for featherweight title
Cleber Luciano vs. Mario Navarro
Jacob Noe vs. Seth Petruzelli - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
Jason Lambert vs. Hector Ramirez
J.J. Ambrose vs. Brian Warren
Atanas Djambazov vs. Emanuel Newton - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
Mike Guymon vs. Savant Young
Joe Williams vs. Jamie Yager
Joe Camacho vs. Aaron Miller
Bellator MMA counters UFC's offer for former champion Eddie Alvarez
Bellator MMA has officially tendered a contract offer to its former lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez (24-3 MMA, 8-1 BFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from multiple industry sources that Bellator executives have issued an offer to Alvarez to match the deal he recently received from the UFC. The move is an effort by Bellator to retain the rights to the star 155-pounder, whose contract with the promotion expired following an October win over Patricky "Pitbull" Freire but who remained in an exclusive matching period with the tournament-based organization.
Eddie Alvarez Situation Still Not Settled, Dana White Expects Things to Get “Ugly”
It appears Eddie Alvarez’s free agency won’t be coming to an end in the near future without a fight happening first but it’s not a battle in the cage.
No, the battle is likely to take place in negotiations because the former Bellator lightweight champion appears locked in a fight between the two suitors who both want to sign him.
Following Alvarez’s last fight, he officially became a free agent after competing under the Bellator banner for the last few years. While the promotion retained a matching period to offer Alvarez equal money to that of any other organization courting his services, they allowed him to seek out the best deal before they decided if they would try to re-sign him or not...
Paul Daley arrested for bar fight assault, out of Bellator's Spike TV debut on Jan. 17, 2013
Bellator welterweight Paul Daley has been forced out of his fight on Bellator's Spike TV debut, eliminating him from its season 8 welterweight tournament. "Semtex" was charged with assault after a bar fight and is forbidden from entering the United States until further notice.
Paul Daley (and probably Bjorn Rebney) isn't having much of a Merry Christmas.
Today (Dec. 25, 2012), the Bellator Welterweight has been arrested on an assault charge in connection with a recent bar fight, according to a report from Josh Gross of ESPN. If found guilty of the charge, "Semtex" could face up to two years in prison.
Bellator 87 official for Michigan on Jan. 31, features lightweight tourney
Bellator Fighting Championships' Season 8 lightweight tournament kicks off Jan. 31, as the promotion returns to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., for Bellator 87.
Bellator executives today officially announced the event, and tickets – which range from just $20 to $65 – are on sale now. Bellator first visited the venue this past November for Bellator 82.
Bellator 89 official for February 14th in Charlotte with Dantas-Galvao main event
Bellator's first visit to the Tar Heel State now is official for Feb. 14.
As first reported by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Bellator 89 will take place at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C., with a bantamweight title fight between champion Eduardo Dantas (14-3 MMA, 4-0 BFC) and tournament winner, top contender and former Dantas teammate Marcos Galvao (13-5-1 MMA, 4-2 BFC) in the main event.
Bellator officials on Friday announced the card, which also is expected to feature the start of the Season 8 middleweight tournament. Participants for that tourney have not yet been announced.
Bellator reviewing Eddie Alvarez's UFC offer with choice of match or let him go
Eddie Alvarez has his offer. Now it's a waiting game.
The former Bellator lightweight champ, one of the most coveted MMA free agents in years, has a contract offer in hand from the UFC. That leaves Bellator in a two-week period in which it can match the offer in an attempt to retain the fighter.
Bellator officials on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that promotion execs are reviewing Alvarez's offer from the UFC and are expected to announce soon whether they will match it or let him go.