Dana White, Bjorn Rebney, Eddie Alvarez, and karma

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Bellator lightweight Eddie Alvarez engaged in a bitter, protracted, and ultimately losing legal battle with Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney, following Alvarez’s attempt to move to the UFC when his Bellator contract expired.

The issue centered on Bellator’s right to match any contract Alvarez was offered. The UFC contract offered points on a PPV. Bellator rewrote the UFC contract word for word, a seemingly perfect match. However, Alvarez argued that the word for word contract was not in fact identical, as Bellator had never done a PPV.

Bellator countered that they planned a PPV. In fact, Saturday’s event was to have been the promotion’s PPV debut, until Tito broke his neck, cancelling a planned fight with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and ultimately, forcing the show to free tv. Alvarez’s argument was that, to make use of metaphor, the UFC offered him a ride in a Ferarri. Bellator said we are going to go buy a car and you wiill get a ride in it; but no one believed it would be a Ferarri. A ride in a Ferarri is not identical to a ride in an Accord, and thus, by this reasoning, the contracts were not, in fact, identical.

By way of illustration, this is a fighter in a Ferrari:

This is a fighter in an Accord:

In the end, the legal case extended far into 2014, and the peak years of Alvarez’s fight career were being spent renovating houses, so he signed a new contract with Bellator.

Several days before his winning Fight of the Year candidate with Michael Chandler Saturday night, Alvarez was asked a prescient question by MMAFighting’s Luke Thomas.

“If you win on November 2nd, you win the belt back,” Thomas asked Alvarez. “Is it fair to say as a bonus to winning, do you want to stick it to a few people?”

Alvarez replied in the affirmative.

“Yeah, why not? I always smile in the back of my head,” he said. “All of the smirk going on inside and it’ll feel good.”

And so it happened.

UFC president Dana White saw justice in Eddie’s win.

“I’m hearing Djork oops Bjork got served a big fat plate of Karma tonight :)” tweet chortled White after the event, adding “Congrats Eddie!!”

Alvarez is believed to have one more fight on his contract, which will undoubtedly be a rubber match with Chandler, and then is a free agent. Rebney was asked about the jibe by reporters after the event.

“If karma is that we just put on the best mixed martial arts fight I’ve ever seen, that’s karma I’ll take big boatloads of,” said Rebney, as reported by MMAJunkie.

Earlier in the evening, Rebney had declined to respond directly to White’s Tweet.

“I’ve kind of picked my spots where I thought it was necessary to respond. Some of his valuation comments were ridiculous given that his partner paid us tens of millions of dollars for our rights in Latin America – and some of the other things that I’ve recently responded to on the Askren front. He claimed that the greatest fighters in the world fight in the UFC, but the sixth-ranked welterweight in the world becomes available, and you don’t even pick up the phone to call him?

“I don’t know what karma is.”

What do you think UG? Did you see any karma Saturday night?