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Eddie Alvarez Returns: Now What?

Eddie Alvarez Returns: Now What?

That’s right, Eddie Alvarez is back. Recently we learned that he will be back in the cage soon, but which one? The round one or the octagon? A few days ago it was revealed that Eddie Alvarez and Bellator had come to a resolution on their litigious standoff, resulting in Alvarez vs Chandler II. For those of us unclear on what exactly happened, here is a synopsis:

On October 12th, 2012 Alvarez fought Patricky “Pitbull” Friere. It was an amazing fight, with Alvarez getting rocked early (like usual) and then rallying back and flooring Friere with a huge headkick. The fight only lasted four minutes and fifty-four seconds, but it left a lasting impression on many people, both the general mma fan as well as the ones who matter. Right after the fight, Dana White tweeted a smiley face to Alvarez and stated “Let’s talk.” Surely at the same time Bjorn Rebney decided the exact same thing but did not tweet. What happened afterwards was a quagmire of promises, claims, and even some slander mixed in.

The UFC made Alvarez an official offer, including a solid amount of money per fight. Most importantly, they guaranteed him a spot on a PPV main card. This means that with the UFC’s pay structure Eddie would receive a small kickback from every single PPV sold that featured his appearance. So we’re talking some serious money per fight, a colossal signing bonus (rumored at $500,000) and the cherry on top would be a residual income from every single PPV that the UFC sells. Now that is a tempting offer that no doubt Alvarez has earned. Then came the trouble. Bjorn Rebney enacted an “offer matching” clause to keep Alvarez with the promotion. They offered him the same exact same signing bonus, the exact same amount per fight, and the exact same PPV residual income. There is only one problem with this. Bellator has never sold a single PPV in its entire history as a fight promotion.

How could Bellator possibly match the income that the UFC offers? Well the short answer is – they can’t. The UFC refused to counter offer which left Alvarez in court trying desperately to explain to the judge that the two offers are not the same thing. He failed, and it appeared that the two would lock horns until one side decided to give. It looks like Alvarez was the one to give in, because as soon as a plan for a PPV was announced by Bellator at a recent event, shortly after the news was broke that Alvarez and Bellator had magically mended their broken relationship. The fight fans all win. We immediately were informed of an intention to book Alvarez vs Chandler II. The first fight they had was absolutely epic. It was an amazing back and forth fight with and amazing ending. The idea of a rematch is certainly exciting, and we shouldn’t ask any questions. Should we?

Sorry Bellator, but I have many questions. Isn’t Bellator’s point of pride that they don’t award inexplicable title shots like the UFC is known to do? Wouldn’t Alvarez technically have to go through a lightweight tournament and win in order to get another shot at Chandler’s title? Why did you keep one of your main draws tied up in court for almost a year?

In my humble opinion, this is bullshit. Bellator has always claimed that “we do not award title shots for talking, you must earn it through the toughest tournament in combat sports to get a shot at our titles.” Not only that, but they also claim that “we do not want the UFC’s leftovers.” This PPV that they have planned has a main event between two ex UFC fighters and has an immediate, completely undeserved title shot for their lightweight strap. To add to the matter, Bellator recently announced a fight for the interim title between King Mo and the man who knocked him silly with a beautiful spinning backfist, Emmanuel Newton. How does this make sense Bellator?

The recent actions of this promotion proves one thing and one thing only. Bellator is “all about the Benjamins.” They don’t care about their fighters any more that the UFC. They don’t value their belts anymore that the UFC. They DO, however, value making money just as much as the UFC. One step forward for the sport, one step backwards for Bellator in my opinion.

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