After finishing the final fight on his Bellator contract last Friday with a knockout of Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, Eddie Alvarez will soon be entertaining offers from multiple promotions.
He doesn’t know yet where he’ll sign, but he does know what he’ll base his decision on.
“I’ve got to be honest with you,” Alvarez told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show Wednesday. “I’m going to go to the highest bidder. That’s how it’s going to go. If anybody judges me or tells me I’m wrong because of that, I’m sorry. I have a different situation than maybe whoever’s judging me, but my services are going 100-percent to the highest bidder.”
Alvarez has been with Bellator since its first event in April 2009. He was the promotion’s first lightweight champion and also has a good relationship with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. While the UFC figures to be a major player in negotiations, if not the favorite to land Alvarez, it doesn’t hurt Bellator’s chances that partner Viacom will be involved in talks.
“I already spoke with Bjorn Rebney,” Alvarez said. “I actually spoke with him the night of the fight. He was really excited and pretty pumped up. He was basically telling me that the next move is to sit down with him and some of the people at Viacom and see where their heads are at and where they want to move to. Then after that, I believe, in the contract it says you can start getting offers from other places or what not. I think it’s only fair -- Bellator’s taken care of me for four years and their main thing is, they did what they always said they were going to do. We started on a tiny little network on ESPN Deportes and moved all the way to Spike. Now, starting next year, Bellator’s going to be a serious, serious promotion to reckon with. I’m happy to be in the family and happy to work with the guys. We’ll see what happens.”
Alvarez put himself in a good position with his knockout of Freire. After dropping his Bellator lightweight title to Michael Chandler last November, he’s now bounced back with two quality wins, including a quick stoppage of Shinya Aoki in April.
“To be able to end my contract with a win is great,” Alvarez said. “To end it with a head-kick knockout is beyond expectations. I’m very happy. I have some people to talk to here at Viacom. I have a lot of different people to talk to and to figure some things out and see what’s best moving forward.”
Despite Alvarez’s relationship with Bellator, the UFC remains the biggest fight promotion in the world and has already signed away one Bellator champ in Hector Lombard. Alvarez does like the direction Bellator is headed in, though, with its programming moving to Spike TV next year. Re-signing with the company will be an option.
“God, it’s came such a long way,” Alvarez said of Bellator. “I guarantee by next year, they’re going to explode. Wherever I’m at next year, I’m going to be a happy man with a smile on my face.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 3:00:53).