A legal dispute between Eddie Alvarez and Bellator unfortunately isn’t going to end any time soon as it’s emerged that legal proceedings won’t begin until late 2014 at the earliest.

The former Bellator lightweight champion is attempting to break free from the promotion in order to fight for the UFC, but when his current contract with them ended they had the right to match any deal he was offered, and they exercised that right.

However, Alvarez and his legal team argued that the monetary value of the two deals was not the same for a number of reasons, including the fact that Bellator don’t hold pay-per-view events.

The issue has soured the relationship between the two parties taking an amacable agreement off the table, leaving a court case as the only viable option.

If Alvarez doesn’t back down then this means he won’t be able to fight again until the matter is resolved and that’s a great shame for a fighter who at 29 years-old is in his prime. The last time he fought was October of 2012 so it’s also going to be an exceptionally long lay-off that could affect his performances when he does finally get back into the cage, whenever and wherever that maybe.

It also means he’s going to have to find other ways to earn a living in the meantime, so this really is a dire situation.

While it’s bad for Alvarez’s career, it’s not doing Bellator any favors either as it’s bringing with it plenty of bad publicity since they they are being branded the villains in this particular story by the fans.