The UFC are making no secret of the fact that they are interested in two of rival promotion Bellator’s biggest stars, Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard who are nearing the end of their current contracts.
On Friday night former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez avenged a loss to Japanese star Shinya Aoki, the penultimate fight on his current deal with the promotion, and lo-and-behold, soon afterwards UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta laid down a marker by writing directly to the fighter on Twitter.
“@edalvarezfight hey been meaning to introduce myself,” Fertitta wrote.
Post-fight at UFC 145 on Saturday night Dana White also indicated he would be happy to welcome the fighter who’s currently rated as one of the top 10 lightweights in the world.
“I think Eddie Alvarez is a great fighter. You know us, man. We’re always looking to get the best fighters in the UFC,” White told reporters after the post-fight press conference in Atlanta.
Bellator have made it clear they are keen to keep Alvarez on their roster however, and it’s not as if they are underpaying him as he took home $100,000 for his first round TKO win over Aoki at the weekend.
Meanwhile, another major force in the Bellator promotion is the hard-hitting middleweight champion Hector Lombard who is currently on a remarkable 25-fight unbeaten run, and with his current contract at an end the UFC have moved quickly to attempt to sign him.
“I like him a lot,” was all Dana White would say about it when asked on Saturday night, but the cat is already out of the bag as late last week Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney admitted that Lombard had been offered a deal by the UFC, though they still hold the right to match that agreement.
“Obviously, we have a huge event coming up Friday [Bellator 66]. As soon as that is over, we will sit down with our partners and go through the UFC contract line-for-line and make a strategic decision whether we’re going to match it or pass,” Rebney told Sherdog.com.
There’s no doubt that they’d like to keep him as he’s been another lynch-pin in their success so far, starting from his first appearance back at Bellator 3, but Rebney doesn’t sound confident that they’ll be able to do so.
Both Alvarez and Lombard would unquestionably be excellent additions to the UFC’s roster and have the ability to make a significant impact in their respective divisions so this could be good news for them, but equally it would be a huge blow for Bellator to lose arguably their two most exciting fighters in a short space of time.