Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Bellator Out For Blood in Alvarez Battle
By Joshua Molina
Bellator is apparently coming for blood.
The enigmatic Eddie Alvarez announced earlier today that Bellator is suing him after he rejected the MMA company’s offer, in favor of one from the UFC.
Here’s what a Bellator lawsuit means for everyone involved:
* Bellator wants to play in the big leagues. Fighting over Alvarez strongly indicates that Bellator will not be content to be No. 2. With the recent launch on Spike TV, Bellator is ready for a fight. The company could let Alvarez go, but fighting to keep him says more about the company’s willingness to stand it’s ground, than believing Alvarez belongs in Bellator.
* Alvarez is screwed. A lawsuit would tie him up from fighting for most of 2013. Alvarez is only 28 years old, but With 27 fights under his belt, he’s certainly embracing the last half of his career. He’s a fighter, and a lengthy out-of-court battle will likely only distract him when he finally gets into the cage. Distractions aren’t good for him. Even though he’s 24-3, Alvarez has never been super dominant inside the cage. He wins, but most of the time he wins after getting knocked down in the fight. With back-to-back wins under his belt, he should do whatever to get back in the cage as soon as possible.
* UFC wins no matter what. Alvarez compared Bellator’s offer to something from McDonald’s and the UFC’s offer to fine dining, which is exactly the image UFC wants out there. In the end, they will probably get Alvarez, and be perceived as the winner. If Alvarez somehow ends up in Bellator, that’s OK with the UFC too. There’s so much talent in the Lightweight Division that no one will notice whether Alvarez is there or not. UFC wants to steal Alvarez simply to show Bellator that it can.
In the end, Alvarez is foolish if he thinks Bellator can offer him anything close to a UFC deal. UFC derives most of its revenue from Pay Per View and it’s big Fox deal.
Bellator is a long from staging a Pay Per View show. Bellator is only on Spike because the two are both owned by Viacom. Bellator simply doesn’t have UFC’s dollars. For Alvarez, choosing Bellator would be a lifestyle choice; he can be a bigger fish in a small pond and help grow the company. In UFC, he will have to fight to stand out in a division overloaded with talent. He’s only fooling himself if he thinks he is at the center of sime bidding war between equal companies.