Photo by Eric Bolte for USA Today Sports
With the recent legal battles between Eddie Alvarez and Bjorn Rebney, Muhammed Lawal gives his take on relationships with promoters and promotions ahead of his debut with Bellator.
What seemed to be a very friendly and successful relationship between lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago as "The Silent Assassin" revealed his former boss had filed a lawsuit against him after the two parties didn't see eye-to-eye in their contract negotiations.
Alvarez, the hottest free agent in mixed martial arts (MMA) at the moment, seemed to be ready to make a decision as to which promotion he would be fighting for in 2013. Many believed he would finally be taking his talents to the Octagon of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), however, due to the legal battles ahead of him, a timetable for his return to action is now up in the air.
It's not the first time a fighter has experienced issues with his boss and/or promoter.
Tito Ortiz and B.J. Penn, among others, have had differences in the past with UFC President Dana White and more recently, Quinton Jackson has voiced his displeasure -- yet again -- with UFC and its head honcho.
Disagreements between promoters and fighters date as far back as the birth of combat sports themselves and according to Muhammed Lawal, it's all a part of the fight game and one can't 'knock' promoters for doing what they do in order to make money.
His word on The MMA Hour:
"It's like this, right? When you're dealing with promoters, promoters are out there to promote and make money. So, look at Don King. You see two sides to Don King. The one side, ‘Oh, he's going to give me this much money, take care of me, fly me first class.' And then the other one, ‘Hey, where's my money at?' It's promoters, and all of them are the same to me. They all offer you something, but they all want something in return, and that's your talent. When you sign contracts, that's when it gets all tied up. So, to me, Bob Arum, Dana White, even Shannon Knapp, Don King, [Lou] DiBella, Bjorn Rebney, Scott Coker, they're all trying to make money. They're promoters trying to make that money, so you can't knock them."
Pssst, 'King Mo," you forgot the best promoter of them all, 'Mama Kardashian.'
Having worked for various promoters throughout his career including Scott Coker and those "crazy Russians" over at M-1 Global, Lawal knows a thing or two about dealing with different personalities.
"King Mo" recently signed a dual contract to work for two other promoters as he is set to compete in MMA for Bellator and moonlight as a professional wrestler for TNA Impact Wrestling which both air on Spike TV.
As Lawal prepares to make his Bellator debut this Thursday night (Jan. 24, 2013), he has nothing but good things to say about Rebney so far. Should things ever go sour between the two, at least he knows he has his wrestling cushion to fall back on (literally).
In short, as long as there are events to be held, there will be promoters to promote them and as long as there are promoters, there will be one unhappy fighter with the way they do business and the end game, making bank, will always be the same.
It is, after all, a business.