Bellator MMA lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez remains under contract with the promotion, but the lawyers for the formerly embattled pair are in talks about the fighter’s future, according to new Bellator President Scott Coker.
“They’re talking about a couple of different options,” Coker today told MMAjunkie. “Right now, that’s where it is.”
Asked to characterize the lawyers’ discussions, Coker said, “I don’t want to speculate as to what’s going to happen. But I know that they’re talking.”
The fighter’s future with the promotion recently came under scrutiny once again with rumors of a potential UFC 178 fight between Alvarez (25-3 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) and Donald Cerrone.
The lightweight champ was benched after a concussion scrapped a May rematch with Michael Chandler, whom he defeated this past November to retake the belt. But his manager told MMAjunkie he would meet with Coker to discuss the possibility of staying with Bellator.
Coker called the Alvarez-to-UFC rumors “absolutely ridiculous,” but indicated that Alvarez’s future with the promotion is in flux.
Undoubtedly, Alvarez’s rocky relationship with former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney presented a steep hurdle to a continued relationship. The expiration of his previous contract led to a public feud and dueling lawsuits before a settlement was reached this past August to keep him in the fold for two fights.
The new contract, however, didn’t contain a championship clause or matching rights, according to a source close to the promotion, so he could leave Bellator with the belt if he won his second bout.
Upon news of the potential Alvarez and Cerrone fight, a source close to the promotion spoke about the option of releasing the champion from his contract and moving on rather than forcing a fight with Will Brooks, who replaced Alvarez and won the interim lightweight title.
Alvarez said in May that he would like to unify the title, but went silent when Coker was appointed Bellator’s new CEO. A request for comment from Alvarez’s management wasn’t immediately returned.
For now, Alvarez remains a Bellator fighter. Whether he remains so is another question.
For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
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