Alvarez Now Free To Sign With The UFC

Published on August 19th, 2014 5:05 pm EST

The bizarre Eddie Alvarez/Bellator saga has finally reached its conclusion after Bellator officially granted Alvarez his unconditional release earlier today.

Eddie Alvarez, who leaves the promotion as the reigning Lightweight champion, had been on the outs with Bellator for a couple of years. The UFC tried to sign the free agent back in 2012 but Bellator ended up "matching" the deal, which led to litigation between Alvarez and Bellator. Due to the inclusion of PPV points in Alvarez's deal with the UFC, Alvarez and his legal team argued that Bellator could not truly "match" the deal, as Bellator did not yet host PPV events at the time. Bellator ended up hosting one PPV event which Alvarez didn't even end up being a part of due to injury.

Earlier this year, Bellator parted ways with Bjorn Rebney and brought in Scott Coker to lead them in their battle against the UFC. Coker and Alvarez spoke on multiple occasions, but Coker apparently came to the realization that the wounds between Bellator and Alvarez were just too deep to repair. Bellator and Alvarez began negotiations for his unconditional release at that point, with the release being officially announced earlier today.

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It is presumed that the UFC will offer Alvarez the same deal that they did before, and it is also presumed that Alvarez will find himself in the UFC very quickly. The Lightweight division is already ridiculously stacked and Alvarez's inclusion into the mix likely makes it the toughest division in all of mixed martial arts. It's tough to argue against that point, as the Lightweight division includes Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez, Ben Henderson, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Donald Cerrone. That's a murderer's row of talent.

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There were rumors of a Cerrone/Alvarez fight at UFC 178, but Cerrone recently agreed to take on Bobby Green. With Pettis and Melendez not fighting until December, Alvarez vs the winner of Henderson/Dos Anjos in a contender elimination bout would seem to make plenty of sense. It will be interesting to see what the UFC does with Alvarez - do they give him a "tune-up" fight or do they throw him straight in with the sharks?

That is assuming, of course, that the UFC can sign Alvarez but I would be shocked if they didn't.


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