After a long day of fighting in a place where he is not so comfortable -- the courtroom -- lightweight mixed martial arts (MMA) free agent Eddie Alvarez is no closer to moving to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
On Friday (Jan. 25, 2013), the former Bellator 155-pound champion and his legal team spent a majority of the day in a Newark, N.J., courtroom where a judge heard verbal arguments from both sides, ruling on an injunction that would have allowed Alvarez to accept a fight under the UFC banner and compete at UFC 159 on April 27, 2013.
Unfortunately for Alvarez, the final ruling did not go his way as the U.S. District Court denied the injunction, meaning the battle to resolve his complicated contract status will continue. The ruling of the hearing was announced on Friday evening via public documents released by the U.S. District Court.
Here is the official finding:
"Having thoroughly reviewed the parties' written submissions, and the arguments presented on the record, the Court concludes that Alvarez has failed to satisfy his burden of showing (1) a reasonable probability of success on the merits and (2) irreparable harm."
Alvarez's legal representatives filed the injunction on Jan. 15, 2013, to try and expedite the process in deciding if the terms of Bellator's offer to the 29-year-old unequivocally match the terms of the UFC contract offered to Alvarez when he became a free agent last December.
The injunction was filed after both Bellator and Alvarez filed lawsuits against each other earlier this month over the terms of the two contracts.
Major sticking points in the Bellator vs. Alvarez argument is the exposure of Bellator's broadcast parent Spike TV and the UFC's broadcast partner FOX, as well as the opportunity to fight and make additional money through the pay-per-view (PPV) platform and the points system.
Bellator argued that both Spike TV and FOX are "mega-entities" and are equal in value, while also stating the organization has plans to feature Alvarez on a March 30 PPV event against lightweight champion Michael Chandler.
Here is how the judge, who left wiggle room, saw it today:
"The Court recognizes that the differences between Fox Network Television and Spike TV may be such that the Court (or a jury) would ultimately find that Alvarez should prevail on his counterclaim because of Bellator's failure to match Zuffa's contract. At this juncture, however, the Court cannot make such a finding based on the record before it. Accordingly, the Court must conclude that Alvarez has not shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits even though it is not foreclosing the possibility that he may ultimately prevail on the merits of his counterclaim."
Following Friday's hearing, litigation between the two parties will continue; however, the next court date has not been determined at this time.
MMAmania.com will have more information on the Bellator vs. Eddie Alvarez case as it becomes available.