The business side of Mixed Martial Arts reared its ugly head this week when lightweight Eddie Alvarez came forward to reveal he’d been sued by Bellator after a four-year relationship with the promotion. According to Alvarez, who is a restricted free agent, Bellator failed to match an offer he received from the UFC, equating the counter as McDonalds in comparison to a lobster dinner.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has since stepped forward to clarify his company’s stance, explaining that the point of contention appears to involve money potentially generated by PPV rather than base salary.
“I will tell you point blank, no questions asked, we matched it dollar for dollar, term for term and section for section. To avoid any kind of ambiguity, let me make clear, we took the UFC contract, we took it out of the PDF format, we changed the name ‘UFC’ to ‘Bellator’ and we signed it. We didn’t alter a word, we didn’t alter a phrase, we didn’t alter a section, (and) we didn’t alter a dollar figure,” revealed Rebney in a conversation with The MMA Hour. “There is no guaranteed pay-per-view in the UFC offer to Eddie Alvarez. We as Bellator don’t have to match projections. We don’t have to match what could conceptually happen. We have to match guaranteed dollars and what the UFC contractually guaranteed would occur. That is what we are held to.”
Specifically, the 24-3 Alvarez is said to be in line for a $250,000 signing bonus along with a $70,000 show/$70,000 win deal for each fight. Additionally, those figures are also open to change based on performance. And, in Rebney’s eyes, the contract is reasonable enough to merit bringing Alvarez back to Bellator so long as both parties can work past the PPV hump.
“We have a quarter-of-a-million dollar check sitting and waiting to be sent to Ed and are ready to be scheduling bouts immediately,” concluded Rebney, expressing hope that his lengthy friendship with Alvarez will allow the sides to hammer the matter out without an extended battle in court.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR/DREAM