UFCThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books.
UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.
Last week it came out that Lightweight Eddie Alvarez had gotten caught between the webs of the UFC and Bellator. Alvarez had completed his contracted fights with Bellator after a first round KO of Patricky Freire in October. But when the UFC made him an offer in December, Bellator decided to invoke their matching rights to keep him under their banner.
Alvarez announced his frustration with the situation on Twitter shortly after. On Monday he appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss some more details:
Everyone's heard that Bellator has match and whatnot. it's a difficult situation. We went to settlement a couple days ago. We had a settlement meeting where everything was supposed to get worked out. I was sued maybe 30 minutes after that. There's a lot of tension in the air.
We don't believe it was matched at all. I wanted to give details but I can't because we're in the middle of a pending lawsuit. If I want to go to dinner with one guy and another guy asked me to dinner. If the attention of one guy is to take me to a fine dining restaurant and the other guy wants to take me to McDonald's, guy #2 just thinks dinner's dinner.
They're going to the media and saying they matched the offer, but in our opinion they didn't match at all. The terms are not the same.
If this goes in front of anyone in court, they're going to see that this is not a match. The truth is this is disappointing. I gave a lot to Bellator and I don't get much back in return.
If it was a match I'd be more than happy to honor the contract. I would have no problem going to fight for Bellator. I'd love to fight the Ben Henderson's and Gil Melendez's. The issues has to do with being fair. The contract says at the end we get to match this contract. I said yes to that 4 years ago. In our eyes it is not a match. This is the difference of a lot of money.
It's up to the court now, man. I'm being sued. it's going up before a judge. I think it will become very clear.
it wasn't a Hector Lombard deal, but it was a good deal. And I consider a much bettor deal than what Bellator's offering.
Tried to make an offer to make it fair. We offered a number, it was less than projected UFC offer. The conversation was over in less tha a minute, like "No way". It wasn't a half hour after that that I had a lawsuit.
This has been most violent, most tactical, most heartless battle I have ever been I and I don't have gloves or a mouthpiece in.
Eddie wasn't able to give a timeline for his expected return to action. All he said was "A bad settlement is always better than great litigation." For now he's being sued by Bellator for refusing to sign the contract they presented to match the UFC's offer. According to his Twitter, Eddie believes he'd have to sit out for a year to nullify Bellator's matching rights.
Bloody Elbow will keep you updated as this story develops further.