Former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez will head to court on Jan 25 to seek an injunction that would allow him to sign and fight for the UFC as early as UFC 159 in New Jersey.
According to a report by Kevin Iole from official MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports, Alvarez has been granted a hearing with a judge in New Jersey to seek that injunction that would hopefully allow him freedom from Bellator, and put him to work for the UFC.
Alvarez is currently held up after receiving an offer from the UFC that was then matched by his previous employers at Bellator. Under the terms of his original agreement with Bellator, they had matching rights to offer their former lightweight champion equal contract points for any other promotion that tried to gain his services.
The UFC did in fact make an offer. In their counter offer, Bellator literally took the names UFC and Zuffa (the parent company of the UFC) off of the contract, and replaced it with their name while also dabbling in some extra earning potential for Alvarez.
Alvarez and his management team along with his attorneys hope to prove that the value of the two contracts are not the same due to several additional bonuses the UFC can provide, including pay-per-view points that the fighter can earn with the promotion. Currently, Bellator has never done and as of late last year had not planned to do pay-per-view any time soon.
Alvarez will seek the injunction in front of Federal judge Jose L. Linares, asking for his freedom to sign with the UFC and hopefully fight on the upcoming UFC 159 card in New Jersey, headlined by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as he faces Chael Sonnen.
The card would also hold local significance for Alvarez because he spends a large portion of his training time in New Jersey working alongside former UFC champion Frankie Edgar. He alsohails from neighboring Philadelphia and has routinely had a fan base that will pay to see him fight locally.
Seeking the injunction doesn’t mean final resolution will come on Jan. 25.
The judge overseeing the case can opt to grant the injunction and allow Alvarez to fight for the UFC and order a trial, he could rule in favor of Bellator, or he could deny the injunction altogether and put the case on trial.
Alvarez is obviously hopeful to seek resolution that would allow him to fight in the UFC in April.
“Got a court date on Jan. 25, very excited to get this BS dealt with. Very confident that the truth will prevail and you should be too,” wrote Alvarez via Twitter on Friday. “Thank you all for having my back through out and pray this can get dealt with quickly.”
On Thursday evening, Alvarez provided a running play-by-play via Twitter for Bellator’s debut show on Spike TV in which lightweight champion Michael Chandler, the man who beat Alvarez for the title, defeated Rick Hawn in the main event.
Throughout the broadcast, Alvarez answered fans who asked about possible anger towards Bellator for the way this whole process has played out and he made it clear that while he’s not happy with the current agenda, he still loves the promotion that provided him a home for the last several years.
“To clear the air, I love Bellator,” said Alvarez. “Am I happy with what’s going on? No, but things will pass and my feeling will remain the same.”