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LL 01-07-2013 06:57 PM

Eddie Alvarez compares UFC and Bellator contracts to 'fine dining' vs. McDonald's

After UFC 155, UFC president Dana White hinted that Eddie Alvarez's contractual situation was going to get ugly.

Just over a week later, we have a better idea what White meant. On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, the sport's hottest free agent revealed that he and the company for which he's fought for the past four years, Bellator, have entered litigation which could keep the lightweight contender out of action longer than he had planned.

"We went to settlement maybe a couple days ago," Alvarez said. "We had a settlement meeting to where we were supposed to settle our differences and everything was supposed to get worked out. Long story short, I was sued 30 minutes after our settlement agreement was over."

At the heart of the dispute is Bellator's matching clause in Alvarez's contract. After the final fight of Alvarez's contract, Bellator first had a window of exclusivity in contract negotiation, then another period of time in which it could match any contract offers Alvarez received.

Here's where Alvarez and Bellator's opinions differ: Bellator believes they've matched the deal Alvarez received from the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Alvarez and his team disagree.

"We don't believe it was matched at all," Alvarez said. "I want to be able to give the details to you guys, but I'm not allowed because we're in the middle of a pending lawsuit. What I can say is what I said on Twitter the other day. If I wanted to go to dinner with one guy who asked me to dinner, and another guy asks me to do dinner, and the intentions of guy number one is to take me into a fine dining restaurant and to eat lobster, and the intention of the second guy is to maybe take me to McDonald's, guy number two just believes that dinner is dinner. Dinner isn't dinner, there's a huge difference when you're talking McDonald's or some fine dining, the two we don't believe are comparable."

While being vague on the details due to the nature of the pending litigation, the Philadelphia native has made it clear the contractual process has left him frustrated.

"There's two completely different sides to this," the former Bellator champion said. "Over the past year, there's two different sides. I thought, where I grew up and where I'm from, when someone smiles at you and tells you something, you believe it. If someone lies to you, if someone's a man of their word, that's that. It's very simple. That's the reality of where I've been and where I'm from. But this is a different ballgame, man. I'd get eaten alive in this world, because what people say means nothing. It means nothing. Being loyal and them sort of things, that kind of goes out the window."

That said, in spite of what's gone down, Alvarez said he'd have no problem returning to Bellator, so long as he and the company comes to what he considers a fair settlement.

"If it was a match, I would be more than happy to honor the contract," Alvarez said. "I signed that contract, I have to fulfill my obligations, it's what I signed, I'm a man. I have no problems. If it was a match, if this was a hundred percent match, I'd have no problem going and fighting for Bellator. That is not my issue. Do I want to fight the best in the world? Yeah. Would I love to fight the Ben Hendersons? Yeah. The Gilbert Melendezes? Yeah. I'll fight them tomorrow.

"I've always wanted to fight the best guys. That's not the issue. The issue has to do with being fair. If the contract said at the end we have a chance to match this contract, I said OK to that four years ago and I'm accountable for that. In our eyes, this is not a match. This a difference is a lot of money, a lot of money, and its hard to sign on the dotted line. It's a lot of money."

Until then, Alvarez realizes there are bigger forces at play and the situation is out of his control. So he has no choice but to let events play out.

"It's up to the courts now, man," he said. "I'm being sued, it's going to go before a judge. I think it's going to be very clear what's going on. UFC has nothing to say, you know? They're a business, they offered me what they offered me. We feel the UFC's deal is much greater. I like that deal. It wasn't a Hector Lombard deal, but it was a good deal. And given the opportunity that you have, I consider it a good deal, and I consider it a much better deal than the one that Bellator's offering."

Here in question is the numbers Alvarez was offered.

Mike Chiappetta MMA ‏@MikeChiappetta
"So, according to Rebney, Alvarez was offered a $250K signing bonus, $70,000/$70,000 for first fight, plus PPV points from Zuffa."

No_Mercy 01-07-2013 07:13 PM

The political side of the fight biz. Figured they (Bellator) weren't going to give up that easily to one of their last remaining stars.

That's why all fighters should have managers to look over the paper work. The final say should be the fighter's own even if it does gets matched. Eddie needs to have a sit down with Bjorn without lawyers present.

The Best Around 01-07-2013 07:50 PM

Messy situation for Bellator. Guys won't want to go there in the future if they are young and could potentially have a future in the UFC. They would be best off if they let him walk. Hopefully he makes it to the UFC.

Roflcopter 01-07-2013 10:15 PM

It probably was a poison pill type of situation like a conditional bonus.

OHKO 01-08-2013 02:42 AM

Didn't Rebney claim they were going to make the process as smooth as possible? Now they sue their own fighter...

Bellator is such a shady organisation. Tyson Nam, Roger Hollett, Dave Herman and now Alvarez incidents really makes me think Bellator is just trying to screw its fighters over.

RearNaked 01-08-2013 04:08 AM

Ben Henderson's twitter is going crazy right now bitching about Alvarez's contract.

The guy is the biggest phony Christian I've ever seen. It's like he's never even read the Bible.

OHKO 01-08-2013 05:17 AM


Originally Posted by RearNaked (Post 1667941)
Ben Henderson's twitter is going crazy right now bitching about Alvarez's contract.

The guy is the biggest phony Christian I've ever seen. It's like he's never even read the Bible.

"I can do all things through Christ" :praise01:

Well...getting a better contract ain't on that list.

He blocked some of the people who even suggested that he earned more than 78k in that fight against Diaz. :confused02:

LL 01-08-2013 08:40 AM

Ben Henderson should just shut his mouth and be thankful he managed to get some corrupt judges who had it out for Frankie, no one cares about him.

OU 01-08-2013 10:31 AM


I get 39k RT @MolesyMMA: Something i just realised.UFC LW champ @BensonHenderson gets 30k to show, 30k to win.UFC offered Alvarez 75k n 75k
Bendo not happy with EA being offered so much.

demoman993 01-08-2013 11:18 AM

I really feel bad for the guy. He just wants to fight and he has every right to try and maximize his earnings while he participates in a high level sport with very little forgiveness and a short life span (career wise). If he was offered, by the UFC, a 250k signing bonus, 75k to show 75k win bonus and a PPV cut then it will likely get ugly. Bellator probably matched the first 3 points, 250k signing, 75k show, 75k win and then probably said they would match the same PPV percentage. Unfortunately the PPV percentage isn't going to be an apples to apples comparison.

I pulled some random numbers off of SB Nation to compare numbers as far as live TV goes. I don't know how it translates to PPV but will work for comparison sakes.

The live prelims for UFC 154 on Saturday night and headlined by the Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara fight, did 980,000 viewers on FX. That is the normal level the prelims to pay-per-view events have been doing since the 1.8 million number pulled by the UFC 148 prelims

Bellator is averaging 166,000 viewers this season with three live events remaining on MTV 2 before the January move to Spike

So using those numbers alone we can use them to compare if the contracts are lopsided. To make it easy lets say Eddie would make 1% cut of the PPV and $55.00 per buy for both companies. Keep in mind the 250k signing bonus is already paid by both sides and that I'm using average LIVE viewers and its prelims for UFC and main card for Bellator.

UFC - 980k buys - $539000

Bellator - 166k buys - $91300

That's a difference of $447700 per fight using these numbers, multiply that by the length of the contract and the potential difference in fight bonus money too (FOTN, SUB, KO).

If this is a semi-accurate comparison I would have to say that Bellator was trying to pull a fast one on Eddie but I guess we'll see what the courts say.

Not sure if this link works but here's where I got the info.

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