Your move, Bellator!
Former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez has received his first official offer from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The talented Philadelphia native's contract officially expired just a few short months ago following his first round knockout victory over Patricio Freire at Bellator 76.
Alvarez has been coveted by the UFC for a very long time, being ranked as high as number three in the world at 155 pounds all the way up until losing his title to Michael Chandler in November of 2011 in one of the greatest fights in MMA history.
Alvarez has done nothing but increase his stock since, avenging a prior loss to Shinya Aoki earlier this year in Cleveland and then finishing the heavy-handed Freire in a barnburner of a single round fight.
Loretta Hunt of Sports Illustrated announced the news on Twitter:
Per Bellator's Bjorn Rebney, they've received UFC contract offer for Eddie Alvarez and are now a few days into 2-wk matching period. 1/2— Loretta Hunt (@lorettahuntmma) December 19, 2012
Rebney says Bellator has capability to match what UFC has offered Alvarez. Decision will be made in next week and half 2/2— Loretta Hunt (@lorettahuntmma) December 19, 2012
Alvarez met with Viacom and Bellator officials following the end of his contract, but could not come to an agreement with the executives, becoming a free agent. With the contract offer in hand, it's now up to Bellator to decide whether or not they will match, which would keep the former champ with the promotion.
If the contract is anything like what was offered former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard earlier this year, it'll be a doozy. "Shango" received a significant signing bonus, a pay-per-view percentage and approximately $300,000 per fight, according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, who had an opportunity to look at it before deciding it would be fiscally irresponsible for the budding promotion to match.
Do you think it would be worth it for Bellator to retain Alvarez if his contract offer is anywhere near what Lombard received? If not, will Alvarez live up to fan expectations in the UFC?