As Eddie Alvarez prepares to step into the cage this Friday night (Oct., 12, 2012) at Bellator 76, he will do so knowing it could very well be the last time he fights under the lights of the promotion he has called home for the past three years.
Amassing a 7-1 record with the Bellator, Alvarez has become the face of the promotion which can lay claim to being number two, right behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Win, lose or draw against Patricky Freire tomorrow night (Oct. 12, 2012) in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, "The Silent Assassin" will have fulfilled his contractual duties with the promotion and will be free to sign where he pleases. For Eddie, it isn't about where he will gain him the most fame or fans, for the scrappy lightweight, it's all about family first when it comes to his decision making.
From his conversation with ESPN:
"Popularity has nothing to do with talent or skill. Regardless of where I go -- if I'm fighting in some obscure country where no one sees me -- my skill will always follow me. Just for me to know that I can beat any lightweight in the world is good enough. For me, it's about going and fighting where I can make the best living that I can for me and my family. Wherever that is, that's where I'll go."
Many believe the logical choice would be signing with the UFC, however, even if he decides to jump ship, Bellator will have the right to match or beat any offers.
Should Alvarez prove successful against ‘Pitbull,' he and his management team will have plenty of leverage at the negotiation table when it comes to crunching numbers. On the flip side, should he lose to the heavy-handed Brazilian, his stock would likely take a serious tumble.
One can easily assume the UFC has deeper wallets than pretty much any other MMA organization on the planet, however, anyone would be hard-pressed to sell Bjorn Rebney (Bellator CEO) short, as he would likely do anything in his power to prevent another one of his high-profile stars from thinning out his roster.
Anyone care to venture a guess as to where Alvarez will end up? And will the outcome of his bout against Patricky be a huge factor in his options?