Rebney: We matched the UFC's offer
Eddie Alvarez, a former lightweight champion and mainstay of Bellator, stated earlier this week that he was being sued by the promotion after, in his eyes, they failed to match a contract that the UFC offered. Now, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has come out to give his side of the story.
Rebney spoke with MMAFighting's Mike Chiappeta about the situation:
"I will tell you point blank, no questions asked, we matched it dollar for dollar, term for term and section for section," he said. "To avoid any kind of ambiguity, let me make clear, we took the UFC contract, we took it out of the PDF format, we changed the name 'UFC' to 'Bellator' and we signed it. We didn't alter a word, we didn't alter a phrase, we didn't alter a section, we didn't alter a dollar figure."
He also stated that that 40-page offer they matched included a $250,000 signing bonus, a $70,000 fight purse, and a $70,000 win bonus, as well as a salary that could increase over time. The contract was also for an eight-fight deal.
The main discrepancy between the two sides could be that the UFC is offering Alvarez pay-per-view bonus, where he could take in a much larger sum of money than he could in Bellator, where they are shown on cable TV. However, Rebney says given the right fight they could move to the pay-per-view market.
"There is no guaranteed pay-per-view in the UFC offer to Eddie Alvarez," he says emphatically. "We as Bellator don't have to match projections. We don't have to match what could conceptually happen. We have to match guaranteed dollars and what the UFC contractually guaranteed would occur. That is what we are held to."
Rebney also stated that he would also be willing to get Alvarez featured in Spike TV ads and specials that would air and generate even more income for Alvarez.
"We have a quarter-of-a-million dollar check sitting and waiting to be sent to Ed and are ready to be scheduling bouts immediately," he continued.
While Bellator may have matched the offer that the UFC sent to Alvarez, one has to wonder if Alvarez is basing his decision on something that can not be offered by Rebney. Perhaps, besides money, he is thinking about his legacy. As good as Michael Chandler is, many do not see him as the best lightweight in the world. When people think of the best lightweights in the world, they think of the UFC. They think of Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, and the soon to added Gilbert Melendez. At they end of the day that's the main difference between the two promotions deals. A chance to prove you COULD be the best in the world compared to proving you ARE the best in the world.
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