In the highly publicized contract dispute between themselves and Eddie Alvarez, the promotion hasn’t looked to good in the eyes of the public.
According to Alvarez, his legal team took the gloves off and let him go on this wild campaign of full disclosure. He has since opened up this gigantic can of worms that has painted a very poor picture of the business dealing and ethics practiced over at Bellator.
From changing and tricking fighters into signing altered contracts and not paying fighters their contracted fight purse, the Bellator promotion, which now airs on SPIKE TV, has been forced into the spotlight in a negative way.
Bellator CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is now forced to pick up the pieces and as such, has come out publicly through MMAFighting.com and denied all accusations made by Alvarez and company.
Here’s what he said:
“Well, the general take about what’s happening is that Ed’s made a series of statements about Bellator and Spike over the last few weeks that are completely untrue. You know, it bothers me – for as hard as this company works, and as much as Spike has meant to mixed martial arts and mixed martial artists, and providing the revenue, the ability and the platform for so many fighters to earn a great living in this space – for Ed to make the kind of statements he’s been making about Bellator, Spike, and Viacom, is offensive. And they’re untrue statements.
It had been my intent to maintain the high ground and not engage in a public back-and-forth. And we don’t have any intent to engage in a public back-and-forth. This isn’t going to be an ongoing public feud, but it just reached a boiling point where we had to come forward and point out the fact that many of the things he was saying are completely untrue. They weren’t opinion, they were just false.”
“I’d be willing to guess that outside sources have put that quote-unquote ‘assessment’ into his head. But I will tell you this: every single decision, with regard to Ed matching the contract, the steps we’ve taken and the legal steps that have been taken, have been made directly from this office, from this CEO at Bellator. The decisions have not been made by Spike and they have not been made by Viacom. I’m sure you can imagine or conjecture a thousand different reasons why various parties would want to paint Viacom and/or Spike into this picture.
What Viacom and Spike have done is they’ve done an amazing, amazing job of contributing hundreds of millions of dollars into this great sport. And they’ve helped take it from a sport that nobody had heard of, and nobody had seen on television, and nobody was aware of to a sport where I believe that the world’s greatest athletes can earn a great living in this sport, can support their families and can become crossover stars in this sport.
That’s what Spike and Viacom have brought to the table, so to try to drag them in because Ed’s getting information from other sources as to who he should try to paint with what kind of brush. If Ed wants to paint anybody with a brush, he should be painting me – as the CEO and chairman of Bellator – and Bellator, the company he signed with in 2008, took a six-figure check from, and signed an agreement with. That’s who he should be painting. Anything else is completely disingenuous and positioning – it has nothing to do with where this real fight exists.”