When the legal battle to obtain the services of former Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez began between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator, UFC President Dana White predicted the battle was "going to get ugly."
And get ugly it did.
So much so, that Alvarez had to recently sell one of his properties in order to "stay afloat" financially, seeing as how he's been on the sideline for over seven months now thanks to his legal woes. The sale was also part of his move to Florida, where he will train alongside the rest of the Blackzilians camp.
As of today, Eddie says his hands are tied in the unfortunate ordeal and he knew Viacom and Spike were determined to keep him from leaving the ranks of Bellator, to the point that they were willing to change their whole fighting structure in order to keep him around.
A move Alvarez says cost him an immediate title shot against current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson.
He explained during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"My hands are tied now. I'm trying to do everything the right way. It just seems that the people from Spike and Viacom are getting in the way and I believe they had every intention on doing this anyway. It's become very clear to me that they had every intention on blocking me from going over to the UFC from the very beginning. One big part of it was when UFC sent their contract offer over for me to fight the champion, Ben Henderson, Bellator right away changed the structure of their whole organization. Now you didn't have to go through a tournament to fight the champion. Was that just a coincidence? Or was it because UFC put it in my contract that I got to fight their champion? Now they say I'm allowed to fight the champion. I've been asking for that rematch since the fight happened. I've been asking for Mike Chandler and they were saying, 'No, no, no, you can't have the rematch.' I have to go through a tournament first. Then, right away, once I get a contract offer saying that I can fight the (UFC) champion, Viacom took over and said, 'Well, we're going to change the whole structure of our company.' Now a former champion can fight a champion."
Previously, Bellator head honcho Bjorn Rebney was taking the brunt of the blame for holding Alvarez hostage, however, according to Eddie, the situation now is "beyond" Bjorn because he doesn't have as much power as he makes people believe he does.
That power is all in the hands of Spike and Viacom:
"It's not Bjorn. I believed it was Bjorn because that's the one I used to deal with. I spoke with him on the phone, text messages, everything. But, it's beyond him. I went over Bjorn's head. I spoke with with Kevin Kay, the guys, and told them exactly how I feel and told them what was going on in his own company. All I got was a 'Too bad, we're sorry. I guess it's going to get ugly like Dana said.' Not too bad we're sorry, but I got that exact quote and you can quote me on that. They said, ‘I guess it's going to get ugly like Dana said.' I said, ‘All I am asking for is for an opportunity like you had.' Kevin Kay is the president of the company, he worked his way up through the lower ranks and got higher and higher until he became president. I said that's all I'm trying to do with my own career, with my own life, my own everything. Work my way up just like Bellator started on ESPN Deportes, they moved to MTV 2, they moved to wherever and then they got to Spike. They moved their way to become as highly ranked as they can. I'm doing the same thing as a fighter, but they are stopping me."
Furthermore, Alvarez revealed he was willing to settle for less than what UFC was going to pay him as far as matching contracts went, but the higher ups at Bellator weren't having it.
According to the former champ, the fight Spike and Bellator want to make is a rematch between he and current 155-pound champion Mike Chandler. "Silent Assassin" was willing to go forward with the bout as long as his release would be granted afterward, but that offer was shot down, as well.
Despite all of that, at the end of the day, Alvarez says the whole ordeal actually doesn't have anything to do with him. He feels he's just a pawn in a "big dick swinging" contest between two big companies, UFC and Viacom, thanks to Viacom's disdain towards the largest leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.
A feeling that is mutual from the Las Vegas-based fight company.
Alvarez revealed they are currently awaiting a trial date which could be determined as early as this week. As always, keep it locked to MMAmania.com as more details in Eddie's legal battles come to light.