This past Monday on The MMA Hour, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney joined Ariel Helwani in the midst of a trip to Charlotte, NC for Bellator’s live event this Thursday, February 14 at 10 PM/EST on Spike. The telecast features three quarterfinal match-ups in the Bellator Middleweight Tournament, as well as a Bantamweight title fight between Eduardo Dantas and Marcos Galvao.
During his segment, Rebney touched on the contract issues at the core of the feud between Eddie Alvarez and Bellator, noting that contracts are not simply nullified due to a “change of heart”. Shortly thereafter, Rebney was made privy to the fact that Alvarez, Bellator’s former lightweight champion who had tweeted earlier that day about having “some questions”, was on hold and waiting to speak with the CEO. Based on the verbal (and legal) disputes that the two parties have been engaged in recently, Rebney declined to speak with Alvarez live on-air.
“If Eddie wants to sit down, I will fly him into Los Angeles and I will take him out to lunch or dinner and it will just be he and I and we can talk like men and work something out,” said Rebney, “but, I don’t have a lot of interest in getting on an open forum and having that kind of conflict with Ed, I don’t think it would be in any way helpful to try and resolve the situation, I think Eddie and I sitting down alone would be a great way to resolve the situation, but I don’t think doing it on a radio show is going to give us much traction.”
Following the end of Rebney’s interview, Helwani welcome Eddie Alvarez to the program, who said that the situation was “at a standstill” before divulging further on his recent court appearance for the injunction his lawyers filed against Bellator in hopes of Alvarez being able to fight at UFC 159.
“The biggest thing that’s bugging me, is that I went to this court for the injunction and the attorney for Bellator and these people for Viacom and Spike, they’re telling these bold-faced lies to the judge” Alvarez said, noticeably frustrated. “The judge asked if they had a pay-per-view fight lined up for Ed Alvarez, and the guy waited for a second, he looked to the side and figured out whether he was going to lie or not and then decided, ‘yeah, I am going to lie, because If I don’t lie then Ed Alvarez is going to win this injunction.’”
Despite the recent issues, Alvarez himself noted that the bridge was not burned with Bellator, but that their actions speak louder than their words in the form of matching the UFC’s offer to the exciting 155’er.
“It’s just not fair. I fought everybody they wanted me to fight. I fought Patricky and Aoki and I could have lost and could’ve messed my career up,” said Alvarez. “I did my job and if they are going to keep me just compensate me the way I would by another promotion. All I want Bellator to do is match, not just say they matched.”
Despite the obvious tension between Alvarez and the Bellator organization, Alvarez’s main focus seems to be getting a fight as soon as possible. Putting aside the reported title fight Bellator had lined-up for Alvarez when he signed a contract this past December (which obviously didn’t happen), Alvarez made it clear that he wants to fight the best in the world and not fall victim to circumstance by losing valuable time in the prime of his career.
“I don’t want to sit out man, I want to fight. I’ve already sat for three months, maybe plus, and um, I’m already itching to fight” Alvarez said of his desire to get back in the cage. “I speak with my management every day on the subject, and, you know, there’s options and, you know, we’re trying to figure it out man. We’re trying to figure out what can possibly be done about this. We don’t want to go through a trial either, I don’t want to go through a trial, this is stupid; I want to fight.”
Clearly frustrated with the situation, and with ring rust slowly creeping in, Alvarez gave all indications that he’s ready to do whatever he can in order to fight. However, that’s not to say he’s willing to sell himself short or put up with inaccuracies that have reportedly been fed to the press by Bellator.
“Don’t lie to the fans, don’t lie to the media, don’t-don’t lie to everyone. If you can’t fulfill your end of the obligation, then say ‘we can’t. We can’t do it, not at this time, not at this juncture’, whatever big words he [Rebney] has to say. But um, it’s-it’s just not fair man, what’s going on. It’s not fair that he [Rebney] can lie and get away with it.”
However the situation plays out in the future, one thing is for sure: the MMA world is at a disadvantage without Edie Alvarez. Regarded as one of the top fighters in the 155-pound division, there are numerous exciting match-ups for the 29-year-old both in Bellator and the UFC.
We can only hope they don’t go unnoticed.Tags: Bellator, bellator news, Eddie Alvarez, mma, MMA NEWS, ufc, ufc news