Former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez fulfilled the final fight on his contract last October by smashing Patricky Freire in the promotion's return to Ontario. Shortly after putting "Pitbull" in the doghouse, Alvarez received an offer from ZUFFA to come and compete inside the Octagon.
So why isn't the 24-3 Blackzilian headed to Las Vegas?
MMAmania.com has learned from sources with knowledge of the negotiations that Bellator has exercised its right to match his offer from the "Sin City" fight corp., which not only brings a halt to his planned deportation, but potentially locks him up for a new season on network television.
But that's up to the lawyers to figure out.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently warned media members the negotiation process could get "ugly" (see why here), which leads me to wonder aloud if this has less to do with Alvarez and more to do with the cold war between Bellator and UFC.
After all, UFC abandoned its post at Spike TV -- the new broadcast partner of Bellator -- for greener pastures on FOX.
Can ZUFFA come back with a more lucrative deal? That remains to be seen. At first glance, it would appear that Bellator's decision to match the UFC offer would keep Alvarez right where he is; however, it all depends on the specific language of each contract, something only the lawyers are privy to at this time.
What about Eddie?
Alvarez has remained neutral throughout, insisting that he's ready to face any and all challengers, but his future in the fight game is ultimately up to his managers to figure out. As of now, the only thing we know for sure, is that Alvarez isn't going anywhere for the time being.