The on-going battle to the rights to Eddie Alvarez’ services has now taken another turn. As reported by SI.com, a motion filed by Bellator MMA in March was dismissed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court by Judge Jose L. Linares when the judge ruled that the fighter’s counterclaims of tortious interference and breach of contract could not be dismissed based on insufficient factual evidence.
“In deciding the instant motion to dismiss, this Court must accept allegations in Alvarez’s counterclaim as true,” wrote Judge Linares. “Accepting the validity of Bellator’s argument would require this Court to make a factual determination that Bellator, in fact, had a legitimate business-related justification for proposing a contract to Alvarez purporting to match the Zuffa offer. It would be inappropriate for this Court to make a factual determination at this stage.”
The last we heard of this case was in January, when Alvarez was denied clearance to compete on the UFC 159 pay-per-view event scheduled for April 27 . Alvarez was denied after Bellator claimed he was in breach of a contractual agreement that allowed the company the right to match any offer the 29-year old would receive from competing companies. It was ruled, after Alvarez’ announcement that he had agreed to terms with the UFC, that Bellator could, in fact, match the offer made and was enough to remove him from the card in which he would have received pay-per-view percentages on a main-card event.
Alvarez last saw action six months ago in a knockout win over Patricky Freire on Bellator 76 in October. After competing nine times for the Viacom-owned company since April 2009, it’s now up in the air as when we will see him fight again. It remains to be seen when the lightweight phenom will be allowed to make his Octagon debut.