Free agency is a part of every major sport and can make or break a team or promotion depending on how things do or don’t fall in a negotiation.
Over the last several years since Bellator Fighting Championships was first conceived, Eddie Alvarez has been the face of the organization and arguably its biggest star.
But with his contract coming to an end in just a few months, Bellator may be on the cusp of losing one of its top fighters, but according to CEO Bjorn Rebney it’s all part of the business.
Rebney has worked closely with Alvarez ever since he first signed on with the promotion in 2009, but with his deal coming to an end soon, there are no guarantees he will remain under the Bellator banner.
“Eddie’s been awesome with Bellator. Unfortunately for Eddie, he lost his world title and got submitted by Mike Chandler, but he’s been just a stalwart for the organization. I honored my promise to him and I got him the (Shinya) Aoki fight that I had been promising him for about three years. He performed like a superstar in that fight,” Rebney told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“We’re talking to him; we’ll see what happens. We may cut a deal with Ed. We may not cut a deal with Ed. We’ve got about another five months left on our current relationship with Ed and another fight, so we may do another fight with Ed. There’s a lot of different alternatives.”
With about five months remaining on his deal and a one-fight option, Alvarez could still potentially perform on the Bellator stage again before exiting the promotion. He blew through Aoki with a thunderous performance back in April, but there may not be a top notch competitor to put in the cage with Alvarez before his potential exit.
Rebney says they are currently planning on finding Alvarez another fight, but there’s nothing set in stone if that will actually happen or not.
Alvarez has long been looked at as a top prospect for an organization like the UFC to pluck away if he became available. They recently signed former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard to a multi-fight deal where he will debut for the promotion at UFC 149 in July. Speculation is that they would really like to land Alvarez as well, if and when he becomes available.
“We’ll see where it goes. It’s business, he may end up with us, he may end up fighting elsewhere,” Rebney said.
“Right now our eye is on the ball with doing one more fight with Ed, but you never really know in a contractual situation like this.”