Eddie Alvarez is free agentBellator MMA issued the following on Tuesday … Bellator Statement On Eddie Alvarez
Newport Beach, Calif. (August 19, 2014) – Bellator President Scott Coker has released a statement regarding Eddie Alvarez:
“We’ve granted Eddie his unconditional release. Eddie is free to explore the free agent market, we hold no matching rights, and we wish him the best in the future. We sat down with Eddie and his team a few times, and it became pretty clear early on that he just wasn’t interested in fighting for Bellator in the future. We want guys in this organization that want to be here, and after the history Eddie and the former regime had here at Bellator, we decided to move on. We wish Eddie the absolute best of luck with whatever is next for him. It’s a new chapter for everyone involved.”
Eddie Alvarez has also released a statement on the release:
“This was a long process but it’s a decision that everyone seems happy with. I think it’s important to say that I am genuinely thankful for my time at Bellator. I know that sounds a little crazy given everything I went through, but I’ve fought there since 2009, and have been involved in some really amazing fights. The staff there always treated me great, and I’m going to miss seeing a lot of those familiar faces around for sure. Myself and my team had some really good discussions with Scott, but in my heart I knew I was ready to move on and start the next chapter in my career.”
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Coker, former CEO of Strikeforce, said he met with Alvarez and his manager Glenn Robinson in Miami shortly after replacing former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney at the head of the company in June.
At that time, Coker said it was clear Alvarez did not consider Bellator his long-term home.
About damn time."The staff there always treated me great and I'm going to miss seeing a lot of those familiar faces around for sure. Myself and my team had some really good discussions with Scott, but in my heart I knew I was ready to move on and start the next chapter of my career."
The announcement effectively ends a near two-year saga between Alvarez and the promotion, which began in late 2012 when Alvarez fielded a multi-fight offer from the UFC after Bellator waived its 90-day exclusive negotiating period.
Rebney moved to exercise the promotion's right to match the UFC offer. Alvarez and his legal team argued, however, the Bellator offer was not the same. The two sides eventually filed countersuits against each other.
In August 2013, a settlement was reached that included two fights from Alvarez under the Bellator banner and then his unconditional release. Three months after the settlement, Alvarez defeated Chandler for the lightweight title.
He was scheduled to appear in a title bout against Chandler at a Bellator pay-per-view event in May, but withdrew due to a late concussion suffered in training. Chandler (12-2) went on to fight Will Brooks for an interim title and lost via split decision.
Coker said he had not discussed Alvarez's departure with either Chandler or Brooks (14-1) as of Tuesday morning but believed that fight would happen next, "maybe in November." He did not know if Brooks would be promoted to undisputed champion.