Former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is known to be one of the UFC’s top targets at the moment after his current contract came to an end, and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is helping to ensure that his future is sorted out as quickly as possible.
After Friday’s Bellator 78 show Rebney confirmed that if Alvarez doesn’t want to stay with the promotion then they’ll expedite the process by waiving off the remaining few months they have of exclusive negotiations with the 28 year-old fighter who ended his current contract on a high after KO’ing Patricky Freire in the first round a couple of weeks ago.
That doesn’t mean that Bellator have given up hope of retaining Alvarez however, as they have been in negotiations with him, hoping that a solid financial deal along with the lure of the promotion moving to a bigger audience on Spike TV next year might be enough to get him to extend his stay with them.
“My read on Ed is that he’s approached these talks professionally and totally in good faith,” Rebney tells MMAfighting.com. “He’s made the effort to come sit and talk to us. He’s followed up and asked a lot of questions as far as what we can do for him, the exposure we can provide and what other doors we can open. He’s been very engaged. Ed’s been rock-solid for us for years, and if he wants to see what they are going to offer, I’m going to let him see.”
Alvarez has certainly been loyal to Bellator over the years and has been one of their highest profile and most consistently entertaining fighters since competing on their first ever show back in 2009.
Nevertheless, this is a pivotal moment in his career and he’s made it clear that with a wife and family to support his decision is going to be based purely on who’s going to provide him the best financial deal.
Given that UFC have more financial clout and Dana White having already gone out of his way to make it clear that he is interested in signing Alvarez, it would be very surprising if he didn’t make the switch to the sport’s biggest stage in the near future.