Eddie Alvarez not necessarily resigned to signing with the UFC

Before lightweight Eddie Alvarez landed a timely head-kick knocking out Patricky Freire last week at Bellator 76, in the minds of many fans, the talented 155er had already been inked to a UFC deal even though he’d yet to actually meet with any officials from the organization on that front. Though the interest of UFC President Dana White is certainly no secret, the reality is the restricted free agent can negotiate with other promotions with Bellator reserving the right to match any offers he receives over the next few months.

While that may only delay what scores feel is inevitable – Alvarez will sign a UFC contract – the 28-year old is actually keeping an open mind in terms of where his next match-up will take place.

“I’m going to go to the highest bidder. That’s how it’s going to go. If anybody judges me or tells me I’m wrong because of that, I’m sorry. I have a different situation than maybe whoever’s judging me, but my services are going 100-percent to the highest bidder,” confirmed Alvarez in an interview with Sherdog Radio. “Starting next year, Bellator’s going to be a serious, serious promotion to reckon with. I’m happy to be in the family and happy to work with the guys. We’ll see what happens.”

With Bellator’s move to Spike TV this coming January, the increased support from Viacom could provide Alvarez with some lucrative opportunities to stay with the company he’s called home for more than three years. Likewise, ONE FC made a dent on the MMA scene in 2012 and even stole bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes away from the UFC with a better offer.

Regardless of where he lands, Alvarez is excited about the future and couldn’t be more pleased with how things are playing out.

“To be able to end my contract with a win is great. To end it with a head-kick knockout is beyond expectations,” he concluded.

The 24-3 Alvarez has won nine of his last ten fights with 21 total finishes to his credit. Among the notable opponents he’s beaten in his career are the likes of Roger Huerta, Josh Neer, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Shinya Aoki.

PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR

7 COMMENTS
  • G-DUB says:

    I can’t blame Eddie for the rationale. This is probably his one big contract and he should get the most value out of it. However, I don’t think him prudent for expressing his 100% true feelings in the media. I used to be a huge Alvarez fan, but his “honesty” about fighting strictly for the money has rendered him just another fighter in my eyes. Even if all fighters feel this way and fight primarily for this motivation, I’d rather not hear about it in every interview.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • hindsightufuk says:

    he’ll keep getting my support regardless.
    bigger fights for now in the UFC but Bellator has some awesome fighters, unknown prospects who may never be household names but could beat anyone on any given day, dangerous games to fight as you may end up losing to no name opponents

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  • Rece Rock says:

    If Zuffa gives him a cut of PPV buys nobody else can match that…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Rece has the right of it. PPV buys, spots on Fox, and bonuses are all things Eddie needs to consider, not just his show pay.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    The UFC’s place as top dog in the MMA landscape absolutely gives them an advantage when it comes to luring in fighters. Fighting under the UFC banner offers far greater exposure, with more lucrative sponsorship opportunities, meaning guys are compensated thru channels completely separate from the UFC.

    Sorta like the restaurant business, where a restaurant pays its servers a meager base pay with the rest of the compensation being provided via outside channels (i.e. customer tips). The UFC is a 5-star steakhouse; Bellator is Outback. If each place is offering a prospective employee 5 bucks an hour, you do whatever you can to latch on at the 5-star joint because of the much greater earning potential, even if it means having to put up with a manager that is an obnoxious asshole who expects you to cater to his every demand.

    So in effect, the lesser orgs have to over-bid in order to field a competitive offer. It’s hard enough for a MMA organization to survive as it is; if they start over-bidding for fighters… well, it’s back to selling t-shirts. Simply put, the UFC is winning.

    BUT…what’s interesting in a case like this is Bellator latched onto Eddie Alvarez first, and wisely included a stipulation in the contract that allows them to match any offer he receives from another company (for an unspecified length of time). So with that being the case, the UFC can’t just rely on their built-in advantages. They’ll have to offer an amount above & beyond what Bellator feels they can match, which would be much higher than the UFC’s usual going rate for show pay. I’m not sure of all the legal mumbo jumbo in the contract but I have to think the *match clause* would be based on direct things like number of guaranteed fights & show pay per fight, and not the other secondary earning potential like sponsors (even PPV % seems like it would be tricky when put up against the letter of the contract, but who knows).

    We’ll just have to wait & see how things shake out. As Eddie recently put it: “Dana’s a character, man, he likes to play games, I know what he’s doing. I know what he’s up to; hat’s off to him and I’ll see what happens.”

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Actually, I’m probably greatly oversimplifying things. This same type of scenario played out recently with Hector Lombard and here’s what was said at the time…

    “We’ve received the final proposed UFC agreement from Hector’s attorney, and right now we are in the process of reviewing it to determine whether we’re going to match the agreement,” stated Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “We’ve got the 60 pages of UFC contract that were forwarded to us by Hector’s counsel. We’ve been waiting on the actual contract itself to see all of the specifics and every conceivable detail and know exactly what is being offered. Now we have something really specific to look at.”

    So yeah… the UFC is still winning. Bellator puts the match clause in the contract as a way to protect its investment, but it seems to have only a minimal effect in slowing down the UFC machine. In the end, it’s probably just a minor nuisance for the UFC but, most importantly IMO, should drive up the UFC’s offer beyond what it would otherwise be if Eddie was a completely unrestricted free agent.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    He can take the big money and be a small fish in a big pond and likely not ever be a champion, but have the $$. If he stays with Bellator he will be a big fish in a small pond and have a much greater chance of remaining champion with a smaller paycheck, while keeping in mind Bellator will get the exposure from Spike soon which will increase revenue and possibly pave the way for PPV.

    I would not favor him against the upper tier of the UFC 155. Not saying he would not have a chance, but I wouldn’t pick him to beat the likes of Diaz, Bendo or Maynard.

    He should look at Lombard who came in and promptly laid a big fat egg against a mid carder he should have beaten.

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