The Eddie Alvarez vs Bellator interests me on so many levels. Mainly I am amazed at how it is basically a giant corporation fucking a dude over who helped Bellator grow through its early years. Also amazing: how people calmly debate the possiblity that a weasely interpretation of Eddie Alvarez’s contract may cost him the legal win. Without much passion. Like yeah, just stating the facts. MMA Fighting’s description of the case:
Bellator believed they matched the contract; Alvarez’s camp disagreed. After recent settlement talks failed, the two sides lawsuits’ against one another will proceed.
Alvarez has his own interpretation of the situation:
Perhaps the biggest realization Alvarez has made in his ongoing case is that he’s simply a pawn in tug-of-war between two large corporations: Viacom, the television conglomerate which is Bellator’s majority owner, and Zuffa, UFC’s parent company.
“Pardon my French, this is a big dick-swinging contest between two big companies,” Alvarez said. “I have nothing to do with it.”
Still, the bulk of Alvarez’s venom is directed toward Bellator’s parent company. The way he sees it, the fix was in from the beginning.
“I’m trying to do everything the right way, and it seems like for Spike and Viacom, they are getting in the way,” Alvarez said. “I believe they had every intention of doing this anyway. It becomes clear to me that they had every intention of blocking me from going to UFC from the very beginning.”
On a straight up logical level this is a fuck over in the most obvious sense. Eddie Alvarez was set to make a million dollars at UFC 158, roughly $700,000 more than any fight on the contract Bellator put forward could make him. But because Bellator’s lawyers are arguing that PPV sales are theoretical and a PPV cut from Bellator = a PPV cut from the UFC, he’s stuck in legal limbo waiting to see if a judge decides the wording in his contract allows the promotion to screw him.
The most galling part about this is Bellator knows this contract is worth way less than the UFC one. But because they may have the upper hand due to legal shenaniganry, they’re gonna try and use it to keep Alvarez in Bellator. Why at this point I’m not exactly sure. Either they lose and look like dickholes, or they win and look like dickholes for however many fights they force Eddie through.
Hopefully this, and future statements Eddie Alvarez makes regarding other fighters Bellator has screwed, will open the eyes of other fighters to the reality of dealing with soulless mega-corps. Not like you can avoid it at the top of the MMA world, just that you better watch out or they’ll fuck you over every which way from Sunday if it serves their advantage.
(pic by Scott Peterson for MMA Weekly)