After a long day of fighting in the courtroom, former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (24-3 MMA, 8-1 BFC) was denied a motion to release the fighter from his Bellator contract in order to sign with the UFC.
Alvarez’s lawyers argued there is key difference between Bellator’s promise to put Alvarez on Spike as opposed to Zuffa’s to put him on FOX, and that the two were not equal. Unfortunately, the injunction filed by the 29-year-old and his legal team to fight at UFC 159 in April was denied by the U.S. District Court, and thus the battle continues.
Here is the official ruling:
“Having thoroughly reviewed the parties’ written submissions, and the arguments presented on the record, the Court concludes that Alvarez has failed to satisfy his burden of showing (1) a reasonable probability of success on the merits and (2) irreparable harm.”
The Bellator representatives argued that both Spike TV and FOX are “mega-entities” and are equal in value, while also stating that the organization had plans to feature Eddie Alvarez in a March 30 PPV-event rematch against current lightweight champion Michael Chandler.
Here is how the judge saw it:
“The Court recognizes that the differences between Fox Network Television and Spike TV may be such that the Court (or a jury) would ultimately find that Alvarez should prevail on his counterclaim because of Bellator’s failure to match Zuffa’s contract. At this juncture, however, the Court cannot make such a finding based on the record before it. Accordingly, the Court must conclude that Alvarez has not shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits even though it is not foreclosing the possibility that he may ultimately prevail on the merits of his counterclaim.”
Following Friday’s hearing, litigation between the two parties will continue; however, the next court date has not been determined at this time.
Stay tuned to bjpenn.com for further updates as the Eddie Alvarez free agency saga continues.