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Eddie Alvarez is still perfectly happy outside the UFC

Back when it was UFC vs PRIDE, a week didn’t go by without a top fighter patiently explaining how thick the dildo was that Zuffa demanded they insert into their rectums if they wanted to fight for the UFC. All those contractual freedoms for fighters seem like less of a big deal now that they’ve practically become Candycane Fairyland terms – or to be more accurate, since the UFC bought Candycane Fairyland and executed all the unicorns.

But when Eddie Alvarez recently laid out all the reasons he’d rather stick with his big fish / small pond situation in Bellator than make the jump to the UFC, they still make for a compelling argument to stay out of the UFC for now. From a Josh Gross radio show transcribed by FightOpinion:

I think they’re running their business the way they are supposed to. But my issue with it is the way fighters lose one or two fights and they’re fired and, not only that, there is no like, it’s not like a union like the NFL, the NBA, and these other sports where the finances are regulated and you have to receive a minimum in order to be a part of that league. Like NFL, I don’t know, maybe you have to receive half a million dollars per year just to play in the NFL or maybe a quarter of a million. The UFC’s not like that. They can offer someone, you know, $5,000 and $5,000, the guy can fight at first and get his face broken to pieces and then he can totally put on a poor performance and then get fired. That scares me. I would like to be paid like an athlete and, I don’t know. I guess I have a lot of issues with it and when I was, I believe when I was ranked #2 in the world, I was offered something from the UFC but it was significantly lower than what I was getting paid at that time, almost like insultingly low and I just, it wasn’t the right move for me at that time.

“It would be great to fight them guys but at what cost, you know what I mean? At what cost to me? Do I have to, what measures do I have to take in order to fight them guys? Do I have to take an $80,000 pay cut? Do I have give up all my, every single ancillary right I can dream of? Do I have to, you know, now I can’t get certain sponsors that I want to get certain sponsors that I want to get because I have to pay the UFC before they pay me? There’s a lot of issues involved and I don’t know if people understand that. And if I was 20 years old and I was single and I had no kids, I would jump to the UFC tomorrow. But the reality is (that) I have three kids and I have a family to take care of and everything has to line up. Yeah, I want to be #1 in the world but I also want to be able to maintain a home for my family so I can’t tell my wife and kids, ‘hey, Daddy’s going to take a huge risk and this may not work and hopefully we do well.’ Like, I can’t tell my kids that. I got to tell them that I’m going to work hard and I’m going to get compensated correctly for my hard work and that’s all I really ask for.”

Pretty reasonable. On the other hand, is the scaredy cat too pussy to test himself against real competition? Huh pussy? Huh?

  • Reverend Clint

    he spends too much time on his hair and trimming the widows peak

  • DSPTomK

    If he was worried about money, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to join the UFC, kick the lightweight division’s collective ass, and then cash the big checks that usually go to the champions?  For him to even bring up the multiple losses and you’re cut scenario (which was in another part of the transcribed interview), it doesn’t sound like he has a lot of confidence in himself against the UFC lightweight division.  On the other side, you have a guy like Gilbert Melendez who can’t wait to take on Maynard, Edgar, etc.

  • frickshun

    ^^What in the fuck are you talking about?? He’s talking about job security. Which, in the UFC, unless you’re a champ or a sloppy brawler, you have none.

    Alvarez is a stud. And he’s lucky enough to demand whatever he makes now to be able to say no to the UFC.

    I’m a huge UFC fan but they certainly know how to run a dictatorship.

  • scissors61

    Alvarez has a good deal going on with Bellator, I don’t blame him. He should enjoy the ride while it lasts. I imagine he’ll be in the UFC within 2 years whether he wants it or not. 

  • Capt.Shank

    Ya the guy is a pussy. Complete dick tuck move. and with brows like that i’d never take him seriously.

  • Symbul

    The UFC has always been pretty good at identifying what talent is worth (to them) and paying them not a smidgen more than that – and less if they can. Bellator is overpaying Alvarez, which makes him wanting to stay there make even more sense.

  • Hendrix

    Eddie Alvarez….good fighter. Talented young man for sure. But fuck, come on dude. All I read was “wah wah wah”. Of course there is a financial risk in attempting to be a professional fighter. If you were so concerned about your family ect..then go get a 40 hour a week regular job. Im sorry, but as a fan…to imagine a league where you could continue to lose without being cut…whats the fucking point?

    And the idea of Alvarez ever meaningfully cracking the top five while avoiding fighting any of the true top five…is an absolute joke.

    Im sure most mediocre UFC LW’s would also destroy bush small time competition.

  • frickshun

    For the people hating on Alvarez, realize this isn’t like the major sports where a dude is deciding if he should make $5 mil w/this team or $7 mil w/that. They’re making shit compared to how long they can compete for decent money.

    Imagine if you only got to work for 10-12 yrs in your prime. I’ve been @ my job for 15 years & am damn good @ it. I’m paid fairly well (compared to you guys, probably exceptionally well). I still don’t have much to show for it. So imagine when these fighters stop fighting. Yes, they may have schools or lecture series. But they won’t be making as much money doing that as they did fighting.

    At least guy’s like Pettis are smart enough to invest it in a couple of businesses w/the understanding that they will be paying his bills in the near future, not fighting.

    Alvarez is a pussy?? Check is career. He’s fought some of the top fucking guys & says he hates being a champ b/c he wants to fight 5x a year. Dumbass statements floating around here. I gotta get home & tweeze my fucking eyebrows before I lose my shit.

  • Letibleu

    I have been told from reliable sources that once on the televised UFC main card, your sponsorship money goes up 5 fold compared to an organization of Bellator’s exposure (even as a big name in Bellator). The real cheddar is in the sponsors. Oh and we are not talking about the 75K + bonuses the only the UFC hands out.

    He might have an undisclosed injury that we don’t know about (like a Shogun knee).

    If he is healthy and this is really his line of thinking, he probably has a good idea of what his performance would look like against higher level competition. If he feels he is getting market value for himself now. I think he would kick ass. Just look!

  • Spicoli

    I think Alvarez is smart and making the right decision for right now. I think the UFC will give him what he wants in time.

    He looked really great against Curran, even though he didn’t finish him.

  • agentsmith

    He told Ariel Helwani that Bellator is paying him “six figures” and that he’s one of the highest-paid lightweights in the biz.  I presume he doesn’t mean exactly $100K, and Jake Shields made $150K in his first UFC fight, so it seems Eddie’s probably already making as much or more than he would in the UFC.  That’s just his fight purse, of course.  So I understand him saying he wants to build his name in Bellator for awhile yet.

    But as far as lack of job security goes, that’s never gonna change, and I’m not sure it should.  Even if he comes in as a big name, are they just supposed to let him pile up losses?  Does Bellator let guys get 3+ losses in a row?  I don’t think the UFC is any different than any other promotion in that regard.

  • CAP

    I’d love to see Alvarez in the UFC but he seems happy and well compensated where he’s at. He trains with Edgar so I’m sure he’d do more than aight in the ufc. Nobody whipped Huerta in the ufc like Eddie did. But dude chill on the eyebrows.

  • unclefesterdanawhite

    Honestly I think the job security situation in the UFC should improve a bit. But not too much. You need to constantly give newbies a chance to sign with the UFC and show their stuff. In order to make room for them you have to get rid of dead weight. But it’s all about balance. You can’t just go cut crazy. You do need a core group of gatekeepers to fill the PPV and Spike TV main cards so that fans actually give a fuck. How many times have we seen MMA fans bitch about how underwhelming the main cards can be sometimes? This is why I`m not quick to say cut Dan Hardy just because he went 0-3. Dan Hardy is a good gatekeeper, he isn’t exactly overpaid for his “place” within the welterweight division (25k/25k), he’s entertaining and he is probably a good draw in the UK. You can’t just cut every guy who happens to run into a 0-2, 0-3, 1-3 slum. Hell Ben Saunders was cut after 0-2 and he actually has room for improvement and hasn’t exactly hit a ceiling. What the fuck is wrong with you Zuffa?

    Personally I’m happy that we still have Bellator around to give guys like Eddie negotiation leverage and guys like Ben Saunders (who was struggling to pay the bills after he was cut by the UFC until Bellator came knocking) an opportunity to continue to fight full-time. It’s a huge blow to fighters to see all of these organizations drop like flies (DREAM, Sengoku, Affliction, EliteXC, IFL, PRIDE, WFA, etc.) or get bought out (Strikeforce). Bellator is pretty much the only leverage fighters have now. And once Zuffa pretty much controls everything and fighters have to take it up the ass a lot of fighters are going to be forced to stop training full-time and the quality of fights are going to go down.

    And Fighters don’t have much shelf life man. So I don’t blame Eddie for going out and getting that paper man. A lot of these fighters out there once they retire are going to find themselves in a situation where they don’t have much “real job” work experience to get a non-menially paid job (so what if a lot of these guys has degrees? A degree doesn’t guarantee shit in the real world. Especially if you take a huge break from the workforce like many fighters have). And while menial jobs may work for singles with not much in the way of responsibilities, many of these fighters have families to support. Now some fighters will be able to start up a successful gym or some other business. But not every fighter can accomplish that. There are only so many gyms and fight industry-related businesses you can have out there.

  • unclefesterdanawhite

    To be fair I would think that it would be worthwhile for Eddie to at least give the UFC thing a kick in the can given the potential payoff (his payscale could rapidly rise as he progresses through the UFC ranks and he could snag a nice KO or Fight of the Night bonus here and there) and if it doesn’t work out for him he can always go back to Bellator for a decent guaranteed payday (if his stock dropped after the UFC venture though, I could see his market worth going down and being offered less money in his Bellator return though). But hey maybe he knows something about the business that I don’t. Maybe his manager Monte Cox knows something about the business that I don’t. Eddie does own a fight gear shop in Philly called Red Corner MMA. Maybe that has something to do with it. Perhaps if he signed on with the UFC they wouldn’t allow him to run that business anymore. Wasn’t the whole Clinch Gear thing a big part why Dan Henderson left the UFC?

  • G Funk

    Those eyebrows are mesmerizing! My wife wants to know where he gets ‘em done.

  • Reverend Clint

    “one of the highest paid LW in the biz” but how long is that list? one of the 100? 10? is that six figures per fight? I bet he gets paid more to fight but the backen pay is shit compared to even a turd like Danzig.

  • glassjawsh

    dear eddie, you;d come in and need to win one fight against someone like guida or miller in order to get a title shout (so there’s your job security)

    stop sniffinf so much hair gel

    at least he’s only 26

  • Predator8u

    glassjawsh knows how the UFC works

    I enjoyed that interview for its honesty and realism. I was surprised especally because the dude is a KISS reject or something, that tongue thing is not MMA. Makes me want to… Punch!   

  • iamphoenix

    this is a lot of words to read. please limit your comments to about 2 sentences max but no funny stuff like run on sentences please don’t cheat my rules you must obey them or else subo will stop fucking his sister.

  • G Funk

    Cue photoshop art from Leti.

  • FiveBoltMain

    he’ll be in the ufc in a year or two, after bellator goes broke. he pulled 170k viewers for his last fight. how the hell is bellator staying afloat w/those shitty ratings and their fighter purses?

  • frickshun

    ^^How the fuck do you know what their fighter purses are? Don’t they usually fight on Indian reservations or some shit?

  • lukustra

    Dana, stop being a douche and pay this man. hes probably the best lightweight in the world and hes still young. stop waiting around til fighters are nearing the end of their careers to bring them to your organization and then say “oh, I told you (he) sucked and you guys overrated him.” yeah because hes now 35 fucking years old.

  • FiveBoltMain

    The tournament fights have a set fighting purse fucktard. If you win your fight, you get $25k (for the quarterfinals & semifinals) and for the finals, you get $50k. Not to mention you have a production crew that has to travel week in, week out, insurance for the fighters, boarding & airflight, advertising…this stuff adds up pretty quickly.

    SHO pays SF $350k for Challenger cards, so MTV has to be paying them a lot less than that because Bellator is a nobody & they’re bringing in shitty ratings than the Challenger cards.

  • unclefesterdanawhite

    Bellator are wasting a lot of fucking money. They’re overpaying Eddie Alvarez, their tournament fighters (except for maybe Jay Hieron and the others that are really worth $25k), probably some of their superfight guys and it’s expensive to be running 22 shows a year (2 seasons per year X 11 shows per season). They also tour across the whole fucking country (waste of money), they throw on pointless non-title fights for their champs and putting on events on a Saturday is a bad idea given all the competition they get for viewership. That all said, I ain’t hating on fighters getting that paper. But as a fan interested in the long-term health of the closest thing to a UFC competitor, I’m not pleased with Bellator’s mismanagement.

  • iamphoenix