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UnderGround Forums >> Rebney fires back at Alvarez


5/10/13 11:25 PM
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Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney today fired back at allegations of former champion Eddie Alvarez that Bellator was hassling the fighter legally just to keep him from moving to the rival UFC and that the real fight was just two giant companies, Viacom and the UFC, battling to prove a point:

He's characterized this "battle" as one where he's a pawn between Viacom and, let's say, Zuffa, and that it's not really about what Bellator is; it's just about these larger parent companies. What is your response to his assessment of this battle?

I don't know that that's Ed's assessment. I'd be willing to guess that outside sources have put that quote-unquote 'assessment' into his head. But I will tell you this: every single decision, with regard to Ed matching the contract, the steps we've taken and the legal steps that have been taken, have been made directly from this office, from this CEO at Bellator. The decisions have not been made by Spike and they have not been made by Viacom. I'm sure you can imagine or conjecture a thousand different reasons why various parties would want to paint Viacom and/or Spike into this picture.

What Viacom and Spike have done is they've done an amazing, amazing job of contributing hundreds of millions of dollars into this great sport. And they've helped take it from a sport that nobody had heard of, and nobody had seen on television, and nobody was aware of to a sport where I believe that the world's greatest athletes can earn a great living in this sport, can support their families and can become crossover stars in this sport.

That's what Spike and Viacom have brought to the table, so to try to drag them in because Ed's getting information from other sources as to who he should try to paint with what kind of brush. If Ed wants to paint anybody with a brush, he should be painting me - as the CEO and chairman of Bellator - and Bellator, the company he signed with in 2008, took a six-figure check from, and signed an agreement with. That's who he should be painting. Anything else is completely disingenuous and positioning - it has nothing to do with where this real fight exists.

One of the things he said that caught my attention was that he said he wasn't even sure to what extent your role, as yay or nay, was involved here. You're directly challenging that - you're saying this idea that Viacom is pulling the strings and you're sort of just getting the news later on is false?

It's completely false. And I've sat down with Ed face to face and made it completely and utterly clear to him that the decisions, the movements, the steps we were taking and the position we were taking was a decision that I was making, and it was a decision I was making based on the contract he signed, based on the commitment we had made to him financially, based on the agreement he had executed, and there was no other party involved. There was no other party voicing an opinion, there was no other party saying "do this" or "do that." The decisions of this company on this matter have been made 120% by me and by Bellator. That's it - not by any other group or party.

read entire article...


5/10/13 11:27 PM
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Chris27
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Well someone is full of shit, if Eddie has copies of the contract with the change he needs to show us otherwise its just he said, he said bullshit.

5/11/13 12:06 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 05/11/13 12:09 AM
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I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.

5/11/13 12:18 AM
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Pessimist_Pete
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Why doesn't the UFC just offer him $50 million for the first fight. Then Eddie can make a $49.5 million donation to UFC. Phone Post 3.0
5/11/13 12:21 AM
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tinytuffnutz
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Warrenpeace - This rebney is a real douche.

5/11/13 12:22 AM
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Chris27
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MMALOGIC - 

I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.


Thats what I thought he meant, if thats true and he didnt sign it shouldnt Eddie still have that contract or a copy of it?

If he does thats the way he can prove Bjorn is full of shit, if he cant provide that its his word vs Bjorn's.

No real way to see who is telling the truth but Eddie did say they caught it and his manager said dont touch it and they faxed the original contract to his manager that he signed.

So lets see if Eddie releases this altered contract.
5/11/13 12:27 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Chris27 - 
MMALOGIC - 

I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.


Thats what I thought he meant, if thats true and he didnt sign it shouldnt Eddie still have that contract or a copy of it?

If he does thats the way he can prove Bjorn is full of shit, if he cant provide that its his word vs Bjorn's.

No real way to see who is telling the truth but Eddie did say they caught it and his manager said dont touch it and they faxed the original contract to his manager that he signed.

So lets see if Eddie releases this altered contract.

this is what eddie tweeted a few hours ago:

4h

"You guys don't believe Me, watch HD net in 30 min and see the contract itself and the change of language , I got it right Here"

5/11/13 12:28 AM
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HereticMMA
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The real point of contention here is the pay-per-view payouts. A major part of the Zuffa offer is they are going to give Eddie a percentage of money based on the numbers of PPV buys/viewers, which Bellator has matched. The problem is, although Bellator has technically 'matched' Zuffa's offer, Eddie would make substantially more money on the Zuffa contract, but because no one can predict the exact number of buys/views a card will get, a judge has ruled that technically Bellator has matched Zuffa's offer.

If Zuffa really wants to clear this up, they should take the PPV percentage out of the contract and give him a larger amount of guaranteed money, thus making it harder for Bellator to match, and Eddie makes the same amount as he would under the initial Zuffa offer.
5/11/13 12:29 AM
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Chris27
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So what happened? I didnt see Inside MMA, did he show it.

5/11/13 12:31 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 05/11/13 12:34 AM
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bjorn really takes off the gloves.  This is the first time He has stated "Bellator is not a feeder league and that they intend on challenging the UFC for the #1 spot"

some bold words.  Unfortunately we know what has happened to everyone else who has made that assertion.

5/11/13 12:31 AM
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Chris27
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HereticMMA - The real point of contention here is the pay-per-view payouts. A major part of the Zuffa offer is they are going to give Eddie a percentage of money based on the numbers of PPV buys/viewers, which Bellator has matched. The problem is, although Bellator has technically 'matched' Zuffa's offer, Eddie would make substantially more money on the Zuffa contract, but because no one can predict the exact number of buys/views a card will get, a judge has ruled that technically Bellator has matched Zuffa's offer.

If Zuffa really wants to clear this up, they should take the PPV percentage out of the contract and give him a larger amount of guaranteed money, thus making it harder for Bellator to match, and Eddie makes the same amount as he would under the initial Zuffa offer.

The whole point of the PPV money is based on what the fighter sells, it also allows them to put him on free tv when they want.

its a way to keep costs down unless the fighter does big business.

If he is on a PPV and does big buys he is worth the money they paid him, if they took out PPV and just said ok you get 500k flat a fight if he doesnt end up selling on PPV or if he is put on a Fuel card that screws them up.

5/11/13 12:32 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Chris27 - So what happened? I didnt see Inside MMA, did he show it.


i didnt see it either.

5/11/13 12:34 AM
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Chris27
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MMALOGIC - 

bjorn really takes off the gloves.  This is the first time He has stated "Bellator is not a feeder league and that they intend on challenging the UFC for the #1 spot"

some bold words.  Unfortunately we know what has happened to everyone else who has made that assertion.


Yeah talk is cheap though, doing 800k viewers and 4k tickets sold isnt challenging the UFC anytime soon, or ever.

WHen he is doing 1-2 mill weekly on Spike, doing 10k tickets sold weekly and doing PPV yearly that do 200k plus buys each time out thats when you can take Bellator being a challenger to the UFC serious.

I do agree they are in a position no other org has been in since UFC bought Pride. They have a big backer in Viacom and a network the UFC built behind them.

Sf didnt have that big backer and wasnt on a network like Spike. So they are in the best position any other challenger has been in but its pretty clear that people watched UFC on Spike, millions watched. They created a base for spike mma but its not near what the UFC was doing which means fans watched Spike for the UFC.
5/11/13 12:43 AM
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yabadaba
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I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.


Alvarez believes Bellator changed the language of his original contract to avoid matching Zuffa's offer. Specifically, he said a clause was altered in an addendum he signed that waived an exclusive renegotiation period and allowed him to negotiate solely with Zuffa. 


"My original contract stated that they need to match all terms of any other contract that I was offered after I was released," he said. "And in the early release, they changed the wording. They changed 'all material terms' to 'material terms,' which from what I'm told – and I'm not an attorney, but ... there is a significant difference."

However, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) could find no change in the addendum, which was included in Bellator's lawsuit against Alvarez. When asked whether he could prove the document was altered, Alvarez offered to post his contract on Twitter. Follow-up calls and texts to the fighter and his legal reps were not returned.

http://www.mmajunkie.com/news/2013/05/after-waste-of-time-in-talks-eddie-alvarez-hopes-for-resolution-with-bellator

5/11/13 12:49 AM
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku
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luke thomas is by far the best mma "journalist"

5/11/13 1:03 AM
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JimmersonzGlove
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Interdasting Phone Post
5/11/13 1:05 AM
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MMALOGIC -

I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.

Bellator doesn't have to win they just want Eddie and Zuffa to lose.

As far as having a disgruntled employee as long as Eddie shows up to fight Bellator wins. What's Eddie going to do, lose on purpose? He may skip a few press conferences Diaz style but that's it.

Also a fighter has a limited amount of time to earn money. Add to that that the longer Bellator can drag this out the less chance of Eddie being successful in the top tier of the UFC. And that's if Eddie wins in court. Phone Post 3.0
5/11/13 1:09 AM
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Chris27
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MMALOGIC -

I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.

Bellator doesn't have to win they just want Eddie and Zuffa to lose.

As far as having a disgruntled employee as long as Eddie shows up to fight Bellator wins. What's Eddie going to do, lose on purpose? He may skip a few press conferences Diaz style but that's it.

Also a fighter has a limited amount of time to earn money. Add to that that the longer Bellator can drag this out the less chance of Eddie being successful in the top tier of the UFC. And that's if Eddie wins in court. Phone Post 3.0

This, UFC worked with Tito, with Rampage towards the end etc.

Sure Eddie might not do press for a fight on Spike or do a good post fight interview with Jimmy Smith but he needs to fight to support his family.

And if he does fight Chandler on PPV he gets paid PPV money if the event does well so it would be in his best interest to promote and hype the fight. Now if its on Spike he may say fuck it cause I'm making what I'm making so I wont promote the fight but he isnt gonna throw a fight or not show up.

You dont have to like the org, the promoter etc you just need to show up and do your job. If he loses this court case he will fight for Bellator.
5/11/13 1:20 AM
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Matt Phillips
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The collateral damage from all of this is, fighters are seeing how Bellator and Rebney are treating Alvarez.

I think what is going to happen is they will bypass Bellator for other companies, rather than be put through this. Once it is clear to managers and fighters that the clear path to the UFC is not through Bellator, its over. That will be the downfall of Bellator. Phone Post
5/11/13 1:21 AM
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TDogg926
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Fuck Rebney. He's a scummy promoter, just like them all. And I used to really support Bellator. Sad. Phone Post
5/11/13 1:29 AM
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Chris27
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Matt Phillips -  The collateral damage from all of this is, fighters are seeing how Bellator and Rebney are treating Alvarez.

I think what is going to happen is they will bypass Bellator for other companies, rather than be put through this. Once it is clear to managers and fighters that the clear path to the UFC is not through Bellator, its over. That will be the downfall of Bellator. Phone Post

Bellator targets prospects, poor Brazilians or Russians or US kids who dont have shit and are making nothing fighting on small shows.

They say 100k in 3 months, title shot 3 months latter, 6 months from now I (Bjorn) can be strapping the belt around your waist and you'll be 6 figures richer than you are now.

Thats hard to pass up for a young kid. They arent thinking about 3 years latter when their stock is high and they want to go to the UFC and Bellator ties them up in court with matching clauses etc.

If you are a prospect and Bellator wants you but you want to hold out for the UFC what if you lose your next fight? Bellator dont want you now, no tournament or 100k and the UFC passes over you for another fighter.

So for a young prospect its hard turning down that money when offered especially now with the UFC roster the size it is, they arent signing tons of prospects. Once in a while they go sign a Brandon Thatch but unless its through TUF they arent picking up handfuls of prospects each week.

So waiting for the UFC to call is a risk especially for some prospect who is making nothing on the regional scene in Brazil and cant feed himself or pay his bills.

We are seeing the vets who get cut from the UFC and want to get back they are staying away from Bellator but Bellators main focus is on young prospects. those guys dont know enough, they see Spike TV, number 2 mma org, title shot, 100k and they say where do I sign?
5/11/13 1:43 AM
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Dana Stern
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First want to say FUCK Byork, Bellator, Spike, and Viacom!

Now that I got that out of the way, I just wanted to comment on what someone said how this whole ordeal with ED truly is killing Bellators rep, as well as given fighters second thoughts about signing with them. All fighters goals are to be in the UFC. Sorry Byork, but no matter what you won't surpass UFC so with your reputation being tarnished, and fighters intention is to work there way to the big show they def won't want to get locked into one of your nightmare slave contract. Guys are going to go WSOF, MFC, Legacy, ED Soures show. Also just because Viacom is the parent company that has a trillion dollars doesn't mean they are going to spend whatever it takes for as long as it takes to be #1. Phone Post
5/11/13 1:51 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Chris27 - 
MMALOGIC - 

bjorn really takes off the gloves.  This is the first time He has stated "Bellator is not a feeder league and that they intend on challenging the UFC for the #1 spot"

some bold words.  Unfortunately we know what has happened to everyone else who has made that assertion.


Yeah talk is cheap though, doing 800k viewers and 4k tickets sold isnt challenging the UFC anytime soon, or ever.

WHen he is doing 1-2 mill weekly on Spike, doing 10k tickets sold weekly and doing PPV yearly that do 200k plus buys each time out thats when you can take Bellator being a challenger to the UFC serious.

I do agree they are in a position no other org has been in since UFC bought Pride. They have a big backer in Viacom and a network the UFC built behind them.

Sf didnt have that big backer and wasnt on a network like Spike. So they are in the best position any other challenger has been in but its pretty clear that people watched UFC on Spike, millions watched. They created a base for spike mma but its not near what the UFC was doing which means fans watched Spike for the UFC.

SF and pro-elite had showtime and cbs.  the ifl was on broadcast television every week pulling around the same numbers as bellator.

Bellator is in a more unique position than any other UFC rival but it's the wrong time.  They are about 3 years too late.  The time for a pepsi emerging to zuffa's coke is long gone.

if their reality show bombs this summer they are knocked out.  if it does well then the fight will get to the second round.

if the fight gets to the second round the battle will be determined by how quickly the UFC establishes itself on fs1 and how fast it increases it's live evnt content.

if bellator gets a sustanable audience it's primarily because zuffa is not properly serving the demand.  the only way a #2 can emerge in this situation is if the market has more demand than the ufc is supplying. 

Dana has been talking up about how great the numbers have been in april with events every week.

The more live events the UFC produces the less appetite the market will have for bellator.

if the 8 to 11pm wednesday slot on fs1 is taken up by a weekly live fight series bellator is dead.  Fox wants a weekly live fight series and they have the money to get it... the question is when will zuffa be logistically ready to deliver such a product.

You would need to hit roughly 50 venues a year all in similar time zones (usa, canada, brazil... and mexico if they ever get traction there).  You would need the 115lb mens class, and 3 more female divisions.

I believe the first year they wanna just get established on fs1.  bring their fanbase over.  get settled in.  Ideally by the end of year one they wanna be at around the viewership they had on spike (tuf avg: 1.3m, fight night avge: 1.8m, .prelim avge: 1.2m, etc...)

As they establish that I suspect a weekly fight night series slowing rolling out during the next 3 to 4 years.

5/11/13 1:56 AM
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MMALOGIC
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Edited: 05/11/13 2:11 AM
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MMALOGIC -

I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.

Bellator doesn't have to win they just want Eddie and Zuffa to lose.

As far as having a disgruntled employee as long as Eddie shows up to fight Bellator wins. What's Eddie going to do, lose on purpose? He may skip a few press conferences Diaz style but that's it.

Also a fighter has a limited amount of time to earn money. Add to that that the longer Bellator can drag this out the less chance of Eddie being successful in the top tier of the UFC. And that's if Eddie wins in court. Phone Post 3.0

 

if they win in court and eddie puts his head down and comes back they still dont win.  a year from now nobody will care about the chandler fight and you have a rusty fighter you just paid a six fiure signing bonus to.

 

How does bellator win? 

Conversely how does zuffa lose in all this?  they dont need alvarez.

Bellator is the only loser and Unfortunately so is eddie for the time being.

5/11/13 2:04 AM
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MMALOGIC - 
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MMALOGIC -

I believe Eddie said they tried to get him to sign a revised version of the matching clause and his attorneys caught it before he signed it.

So bjorn showing the signed promotional agreement and the signed early release contract doesnt really refute what eddie said... unless i misunderstood what eddie said.

Bellator cant win with this.  IF you win the court case you have a disgruntled worker... and the most damaging aspect is that if they havent before, Every top prospect will be thinking twice about signing with bellator.

Bellator doesn't have to win they just want Eddie and Zuffa to lose.

As far as having a disgruntled employee as long as Eddie shows up to fight Bellator wins. What's Eddie going to do, lose on purpose? He may skip a few press conferences Diaz style but that's it.

Also a fighter has a limited amount of time to earn money. Add to that that the longer Bellator can drag this out the less chance of Eddie being successful in the top tier of the UFC. And that's if Eddie wins in court. Phone Post 3.0

 

if they win in court and eddie puts his head down and comes back they still dont win.  a year from now nobody will care about the chandler fight and you have a rusty fighter you just paid a six fiure signing bonus to.

 

How does bellator win? 

How does zuffa lose in all this?  they dont need alvarez.

Bellator is the only loser and Unfortunately so is eddie for the time being.


Because it's not about money.  Well it is, but long term money.  Bellator is willing to spend a lot of cash to keep Eddie, and on legal fees to make the UFC think twice before agressively going after one of their top guys.  It's not even about Eddie which Eddie understands and states with his "dick swinging" remark.  

I'm not siding with Bellator just stating what they are probably thinking.  


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