Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney found himself in a rather uncomfortable situation this week on The MMA Hour.
While talking about the seemingly never-ending saga between Bellator and Eddie Alvarez, it was brought to Rebney's attention that Alvarez was on the other line, waiting to have a conversation with him live on air.
Prior to the interview, Alvarez tweeted this on his official Twitter account:
@arielhelwani Got some questions for Mrs. Rebney, maybe I'll call in
Rebney, who decided it would resolve nothing if he engaged in a back and forth with his former lightweight champion on air, declined to take the call from "The Silent Assassin" and said he would gladly have a one-on-one private conversation with Eddie in person, instead.
Nevertheless, Bjorn did give his thoughts on the status of the current legal issues between his mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion and Alvarez:
"There's a lot that goes behind it Ariel. You know. You sign a contract with somebody and they pay you a very large amount of money and there are terms in that contract and there is an expectation that you will live up to those terms, just like there was an expectation on Ed's part that we would live up to those terms and pay him the money that we paid him and give him the bonuses we gave him etc. So, when you sign a contract, you don't do it so that at some point someone can just simply say, 'I don't feel like this works for me anymore.' You sign it, you have good attorneys and managers look over it if you're a fighter (and a promoter). Both sides are expected to live up to it. There is not an expectation that you just have a change of heart at some point and you can just walk away from it. It doesn't work like that."
At this point, Rebney was asked if he would be willing to take Alvarez' call to which he denied:
"You know what, I would love to talk to Ed, but, I don't want to talk to Ed in a public forum. Eddie and I have spoken for four years straight in a private forum and he shared things that he wanted to hopefully accomplish with me. Asked me for favors and advice on things and I've done exactly the same for Ed. I don't think that conflict, anymore than you would want to put a conflict between your wife or girlfriend or boyfriend out on an open forum, I don't want to put out a conflict with Ed on an open forum. If Eddie wants to sit down, I will fly him into Los Angeles and I will take him out to lunch or dinner and it will just be he and I and we can talk like men and work something out, but, I don't have a lot of interest in getting on an open forum and having that kind of conflict with Ed, I don't think it would be in any way helpful to try and resolve the situation, I think Eddie and I sitting down alone would be a great way to resolve the situation, but I don't think doing it on a radio show is going to give us much traction."
After Bjorn's interview concluded, Alvarez jumped in to give his thoughts on the matter and talked about some of the proceedings of his court date which ultimately led to his injunction being denied and his inability to fight at UFC 159:
"I just wanted to have a chat. I figured I would get on the line, me and him haven't talked in awhile, there's been a lot of he said/she said and I just wanted to clear everything up. I don't think it's right that he said on air that I have to live up to my end of the bargain, that I have a contract that I am obligated to. I feel like I have fulfilled that contract through and through. I fought everybody they wanted me to fight and what I don't feel is that they are holding up their end of the contract. We're at a standstill, things are trying to get worked out. The biggest thing that's bugging me, is that I went to this court for the injunction and the attorney for Bellator and these people for Viacom and Spike, they're telling these bold-faced lies to the judge. The judge asked if they had a pay-per-view fight lined up for Ed Alvarez, and, the guy waited for a second, he looked to the side and figured out whether he was going to lie or not and then decided, yeah, I am going to lie, because If I don't lie then Ed Alvarez is going to win this injunction. So he tells a judge, ‘We have a fight for him. It's signed and sealed.' Then, Michael Chandler does an interview two days later saying he never heard anything about a fight with Ed Alvarez. I know from inside sources they don't have anything. So, it's frustrating. Because if they were going to match or they knew they could or knew they couldn't, they were going to put me through this either way. It's just not fair. I fought everybody they wanted me to fight. I fought Patricky and Aoki and I could have lost and could've messed my career up. I did my job and if they are going to keep me just compensate me the way I would by another promotion. All I want Bellator to do is match, not just say they matched."
Alvarez went on to say that not all bridges have been burned between he and Bellator and he simply wants to fight the best in the world and take care of his family in the process.
@arielhelwani why won't he talk to him on air?
Sadly, the never-ending battle between Alvarez and Bellator, it seems, will end much later rather than sooner.