Bjorn Rebney Says Bellator Hopes to Sign New Contract With Eddie Alvarez
By Michael Hatamoto
Former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is one of the biggest superstars in the surging US MMA promotion, though rumors run rampant that he hopes to jump to the UFC in the near future.
Some MMA fans believe signing with the UFC is inevitable for Alvarez, while others claim he’s using the UFC as a bargaining chip to sign a bigger contract with Bellator. Either situation is possible later this year,
“Ed is with the organization (Bellator)… he has about five months left on a deal, and one fight left,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently told Full Contact Fighter. “He’s been a star and awesome member of the Bellator family. We’ll do one more fight with him, and we may be able to negotiate a long-term deal before his last remaining fight. It just depends because there are so many paths; we’ll see what happens. I have nothing but respect for him.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker also publicly disclosed his hope that Alvarez will join the Strikeforce ranks to offer champion Gilbert Melendez a tough matchup.
Alvarez was recently seen at a UFC event sitting next to UFC President Dana White – and it seems like the former champion is more interested in waiting out his contract so he can jump to the UFC. In previous media interviews, he discussed his excitement about potential fighting opportunities in the UFC, where he’d run a gauntlet of most of the best lightweights in the world.
Even if Alvarez leaves Bellator, the promotion has several current and future superstars they can nurture, including featherweight champion Pat Curran, welterweight champion Ben Askren, and lightweight champion Michael Chandler. There are also viable prospects, and recent Bellator free agent signings, indicating Rebney is serious about expanding his brand long-term.