Former Bellator Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez revealed Monday afternoon that he was facing a lawsuit from the promotion. Alvarez had received an offer from the UFC at the beginning of December. Bellator chose to exercise their contractual matching rights to retain Eddie's services. Eddie refused to sign the BFC contract on the grounds that it did not truly match the UFC's offer. He was served with a lawsuit for his decision
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney explained later that his company did in fact match the UFC's offer. He emphasized that they literally took the contract and replaced "UFC" with "Bellator" to make sure they matched every provision word for word. He also revealed that the contract guaranteed Alvarez $70K to show and $70 to win per fight with incremental increases for each win. It also included a $250K signing bonus, all of which he and Bellator are more than happy to match.
Wednesday evening, MMA Junkie reported more information about the contract:
An eight-fight deal starts Alvarez at $70,000 to show and $70,000 to win and raises in $5,000 increments with each win until it tops out at a guaranteed $210,000 for a win, the exhibit states. Alvarez is also guaranteed a $250,000 signing bonus, payable in two installments of $85,000 and one of $80,000.
When Alvarez fights on a UFC pay-per-view broadcast, the offer entitles him to $1 for each "buy" between 200,000 and 400,000 buys, $2 per buy between 400,000 and 600,000 buys, and $2.50 per buy over 600,000 buys.
Additionally, Alvarez is guaranteed a fight on a UFC on FOX card and three appearances as a commentator at UFC-branded events.
The exhibit confirms a previous claim from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney that his promotion merely changed window dressings on the UFC's offer. Mentions of UFC parent company Zuffa are simply crossed out and replaced with Bellator.
It also shows Bellator offered three additional bonuses to Alvarez when Bellator decided to match the UFC's offer. Included was a $25,000 payout for participating in a behind-the-scenes show filmed by Bellator broadcast partner Spike TV, a $100,000 payout for a head coach position on the second season of Bellator's reality show, and a guest host spot on Spike TV's "Road to the Championship" program.
So, as Rebney stated the deals match on paper with some additional bonuses added by Bellator. However, it's also easy to see why Alvarez feels that the Bellator offer falls short of the mark set by the UFC. We'll have to wait for the courts to decide who's right as both parties have filed suits against each other.
UPDATE: From Steve Marrocco of MMA Junkie:
Update forthcoming to story on Eddie Alvarez's contract: UFC contract reads that it INTENDS to give him title shot and offers PPV points.— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) January 10, 2013