Lightweight Eddie Alvarez and Bellator came to a resolution in their clash over contractual rights last week, opening the door for the former champion to return to the organization and challenge current title-holder Michael Chandler to a rematch on the company’s first PPV event. Prior to the agreement Alvarez had attempted to sign with the UFC only for Bellator swoop in and attempt to match the offer as allowed to do per their original agreement with the 29-year old. However, Alvarez’s camp contested the claim’s legitimacy based on the UFC’s high-profile agreement with FOX and PPV revenue.
As a result, the two sides were set to square off in court without any real date on the horizon. With Alvarez left in limbo, he was forced to sell an investment property he’d hoped to save until retirement to make sure ends would meet and seemed ready to dig in for the long haul. Of course, Bellator strengthened its case with the announcement of a November 2 debut on PPV, and Alvarez apparently decided to give in.
In a recent interview with The MMA Hour, Alvarez seemed agitated with the situation but generally grateful to at least be able to focus on fighting in a cage again rather than a courtroom.
“We’ve been trying to settle since the beginning of this thing. Just, none of the meetings we had really went anywhere. I drew a line in the sand, they drew a line in the sand, and we were sort of butting heads,” explained Alvarez. “The thing is, in every relationship there’s good, there’s bad, and there’s ugly. People get a little caught up — I got a little caught up, I got a little emotional — and they want to take a side. But really, both sides needed to compromise. We both needed to sit down and really listen to each other and each other’s needs, and we were able to do that. They put a deal on the table. It was fair enough.”
“It’s not the same deal. There’s some differences. I can’t get into the details or the structure of the deal. It’s just not…it’s not what I agreed to. But it’s fair to say that I’m happy enough to get work in, and more than anything, just fight Mike Chandler again,” he concluded, showing some relief in the notion he will get a chance to even the score with the unbeaten division king after an edge-of-your-couch effort in 2011. “I had a sh*tty night. I think when you’re champion, it’s okay to have a sh*tty night, but it’s also important to redeem yourself. And I’m lucky enough, I’m very grateful, that I get a chance to redeem myself.”
Alvarez is 24-3 in his career including opening round knockouts of Patricky Freire and Shinya Aoki in two scraps since the stumble to Chandler. He had also won seven straight prior to being tapped in the “Fight of the Year” contender.