Tag Archive for Offer

Bjorn Rebney on dispute over matching Eddie Alvarez’s UFC offer: ‘We didn’t alter a word’

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When Bjorn Rebney launched Bellator in 2008, Eddie Alvarez was his first big splash. Rebney gave the lightweight star a $ 100,000 signing bonus and made him a building block for the organization, and Alvarez took it from there, becoming a champion within it. The relationship between the two thrived to a point where the men built a friendship that transcended the employer-employee dynamic.

Within the last few days though, that bond has been at least partially fractured by a contract dispute that has led to dueling lawsuits and a cloudiness over Alvarez’s future.

The issue shortly after Bellator waived its exclusive negotiating period, allowing Alvarez to take his talents to the open market. As expected, the UFC approached Alvarez about a deal that would bring his talents to its octagon, and Alvarez quickly signed an offer sheet. Under the terms of a clause in his Bellator contract, that promotion had a right to match the UFC offer, and that’s where things get murky.

According to Alvarez in a Monday interview on The MMA Hour, Bellator didn’t match the deal. Speaking metaphorically to avoid exact contract language, he likened the UFC’s deal to “fine dining” and Bellator’s to “McDonald’s,” saying all dinners are not created equal.

Rebney vehemently disagrees. In fact, he told MMA Fighting in a Monday interview, Bellator’s matching offer was literally a mirror image of the contract the UFC offered Alvarez.

“I will tell you point blank, no questions asked, we matched it dollar for dollar, term for term and section for section,” he said. “To avoid any kind of ambiguity, let me make clear, we took the UFC contract, we took it out of the PDF format, we changed the name ‘UFC’ to ‘Bellator’ and we signed it. We didn’t alter a word, we didn’t alter a phrase, we didn’t alter a section, we didn’t alter a dollar figure.”

Then how can it be that such a discrepancy between the two sides would arise? As far as Rebney can tell, Alvarez’s issue comes from the projected dollar figures he could earn from the UFC’s pay-per-view bonus structure.

“Could” is the operative word there, as according to Rebney, that pay-per-view money in the UFC offer to Alvarez is nothing more than a hypothetical.

“There is no guaranteed pay-per-view in the UFC offer to Eddie Alvarez,” he says emphatically. “We as Bellator don’t have to match projections. We don’t have to match what could conceptually happen. We have to match guaranteed dollars and what the UFC contractually guaranteed would occur. That is what we are held to.”

Despite that, Rebney said that Alvarez’s pay-per-view stake was matched anyway, under the belief that Bellator could move into the pay-per-view market with the right fight, for example, a rematch of the notable 2011 bout between Alvarez and Michael Chandler.

The main bullet points of the 40-page UFC offer to Alvarez was a $ 250,000 signing bonus and a $ 70,000 fight purse with a $ 70,000 win bonus for his first fight, with salaries escalating over the life of the deal. The contract was to cover a span of 40 months or eight fights, whichever occurred earlier.

When Alvarez first went out on the open market, Rebney originally feared his deal would be closer in line with that of Hector Lombard, which would make it financially unviable. But when he saw the final terms, he felt it would be possible to monetize Alvarez in a way that made it reachable, and matched the terms.

In a phone call from Rebney to Alvarez last week, Rebney said that he told Alvarez that addition to matching the terms, the promotion would also promise to feature him in Spike-aired television specials that would also generate income for him. Rebney said that at the time, Alvarez seemed receptive to the idea of returning to Bellator.

“We have a quarter-of-a-million dollar check sitting and waiting to be sent to Ed and are ready to be scheduling bouts immediately,” he said.

But in a follow-up telephone call later in the week to discuss the contract situation, things changed. Rebney said he got an uneasy feeling when Alvarez came on to the call with six attorneys.

Within 30 minutes of the call’s completion, according to Rebney, both sides had filed suit against each other. Rebney said he’s since offered to fly Alvarez and his family to the promotion’s California offices to resolve the situation but was rebuffed.

The next step in the away-from-the-cage drama is anyone’s guess. The wheels of justice grind slowly, and Alvarez, who turns 29 years old on Friday, said on The MMA Hour that he’d be open to some kind of settlement in hopes of avoiding a drawn-out legal process.

Rebney believes the relationship with Alvarez can be mended as long as Alvarez comes to understand that Bellator did match the terms of the contract he was offered by Zuffa. After all, in his estimation, he’s paid Alvarez about $ 900,000 in over the course of his time in Bellator, and is poised to do even better in the coming years regardless of which promotion ends up with his services.

“Ed and I have four years of a good working relationship and about 30 days of not a good relationship,” he said. “When you weigh those factors out, there’s a very high likelihood we could shake hands and get past it with a fair amount of ease. Ed’s in business and as you can see from the numbers, it can be a very lucrative business. I know I can shove off and move forward, put things back in line in short order. I hope Ed can do the same. It may be a long, drawn out fight between the two or something that can be settled relatively quickly. We’ll see.”

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Bellator matches UFC contract offer on lightweight star Eddie Alvarez

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Former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez fulfilled the final fight on his contract last October by smashing Patricky Freire in the promotion’s return to Ontario. Shortly after putting “Pitbull” in the doghouse, Alvarez received an offer from ZUFFA to come and compete inside the Octagon.

So why isn’t the 24-3 Blackzilian headed to Las Vegas?

MMAmania.com has learned from sources with knowledge of the negotiations that Bellator has exercised its right to match his offer from the “Sin City” fight corp., which not only brings a halt to his planned deportation, but potentially locks him up for a new season on network television.

But that’s up to the lawyers to figure out.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently warned media members the negotiation process could get “ugly” (see why here), which leads me to wonder aloud if this has less to do with Alvarez and more to do with the cold war between Bellator and UFC.

After all, UFC abandoned its post at Spike TV — the new broadcast partner of Bellator — for greener pastures on FOX.

Can ZUFFA come back with a more lucrative deal? That remains to be seen. At first glance, it would appear that Bellator’s decision to match the UFC offer would keep Alvarez right where he is; however, it all depends on the specific language of each contract, something only the lawyers are privy to at this time.

What about Eddie?

Alvarez has remained neutral throughout, insisting that he’s ready to face any and all challengers, but his future in the fight game is ultimately up to his managers to figure out. As of now, the only thing we know for sure, is that Alvarez isn’t going anywhere for the time being.

Stay tuned.

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Report: UFC has made Eddie Alvarez an offer, Bellator has two weeks to match

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Your move, Bellator!

Former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez has received his first official offer from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The talented Philadelphia native’s contract officially expired just a few short months ago following his first round knockout victory over Patricio Freire at Bellator 76.

Alvarez has been coveted by the UFC for a very long time, being ranked as high as number three in the world at 155 pounds all the way up until losing his title to Michael Chandler in November of 2011 in one of the greatest fights in MMA history.

Alvarez has done nothing but increase his stock since, avenging a prior loss to Shinya Aoki earlier this year in Cleveland and then finishing the heavy-handed Freire in a barnburner of a single round fight.

Loretta Hunt of Sports Illustrated announced the news on Twitter:

Alvarez met with Viacom and Bellator officials following the end of his contract, but could not come to an agreement with the executives, becoming a free agent. With the contract offer in hand, it’s now up to Bellator to decide whether or not they will match, which would keep the former champ with the promotion.

If the contract is anything like what was offered former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard earlier this year, it’ll be a doozy. “Shango” received a significant signing bonus, a pay-per-view percentage and approximately $ 300,000 per fight, according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, who had an opportunity to look at it before deciding it would be fiscally irresponsible for the budding promotion to match.

Do you think it would be worth it for Bellator to retain Alvarez if his contract offer is anywhere near what Lombard received? If not, will Alvarez live up to fan expectations in the UFC?

Sound off!

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‘Once I Was A Champion’ Producers Offer Trip to Dec. 28 Film Premiere in Las Vegas

The producers of “Once I Was a Champion” — a documentary about the life of former UFC middleweight king Evan Tanner — recently announced the creation of a sweepstakes that will grant one fan a trip to Las Vegas to attend the film’s premiere on Dec. 28.
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Chael Sonnen claims he turned down offer to be a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 1

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Sometimes it’s hard to tell when Chael Sonnen is feeding the media a line of bullshit and actually opening up and being honest with his words. This is one of those times where it seems obvious he’s lying though his teeth.

In a conversation with MMA Junkie, the “American Gangster” said he turned down an offer to be a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one all the way back in 2005.

“When the show very first started, the first coaches ever were my coach, friend, teammate Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell, arguably the greatest light heavyweight ever. In fact, the argument would be between those two: Chuck and Randy. I was just a fan. I watched it as a fan. They asked me to be on the show as an athlete, and I passed on the chance. It was on a different network at that time, but an executive at that office invited me on as an athlete. Then I loved the show. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what it was. I sat down and watched it, and I regretted that decision. I really enjoyed watching it, and all these years later, here I am.”

The way he makes it sound, someone at Spike TV, the show’s former home channel, wanted him to participate alongside such esteemed fighters as Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Josh Koscheck, and Chris Leben. But he said no, of course, and the rest is history.

The folks at Junkie say they talked to a few high ranking UFC officials and no one has any recollection of Chael’s name coming up for that first season, which proved to be the show that kept the company alive and is most responsible for its booming success today.

More tall tales from the master with the quick tongue? Probably.

But you can still openly wonder how different that season would have been if Sonnen was a part of it. Perhaps the bangfest final between Griffin and Bonnar would have never come to be because Chael would have wrestled his way to the glass trophy.

Who knows?

What we do know for sure is that Sonnen has been selected to be a coach for season 17 opposite UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. That season will air next year in advance of their fight in April in New Jersey.

Expect more fibbing.

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Friday Link Dump: UFC 152 Staredown Videos, Pacquiao’s Latest Offer to Mayweather + More


(The Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort staredown from today’s UFC 152 weigh-ins, via YouTube.com/UFC. The Benavidez/Johnson and Bisping/Stann staredowns are after the jump.)

- Manny Pacquiao Will Take A 45-55 Split, So It’s Time For Floyd Mayweather To Stop Being A Baby And Fight Him Already (Deadspin)

Vitor Belfort Talk Blackzillians, Representing The Old School (HeavyMMA)

Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski Open To Facing Daniel Cormier (MMAConvert)

Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith Added To November Strikeforce Card (Fightline)

- Chris Weidman ‘A Little Shocked, Confused, Disappointed’ Over UFC 153′s Silva-Bonnar Booking (MMAJunkie)

- TUF 16 Looks to Bounce Back After Lowest-Rated Opener (MMAFighting)

- Is Facebook Making You Fat? (MensFitness)

- The 50 Most Infamous Criminals in Sports History (Complex)

- The Ultimate Pole Dancing Fails Compilation (WorldWideInterweb)

- 5 Things You Remember If You’re a 90′s Kid (DoubleViking)

- The Best Aged Whiskeys And Why They’re Better…And So Expensive (MadeMan)

- 25 Awesomely Hilarious Children’s Homework Answers (EgoTV)

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Anderson Silva Discusses Offer to Fight at UFC 151, Says Jones ‘Could Have’ Fought Sonnen

Anderson Silva was honored Sunday on “Domingao do Faustao,” a popular program on Brazil’s biggest TV network, Rede Globo.
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Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner Declined $1 Million Offer to Fight Fedor Emelianenko

Reese Strickland, US PRESSWIRE

Much is made of the transition for those elite collegiate and Olympic wrestlers who wish to try mixed martial arts as a post-wrestling career option. On the heels of the 2012 London Olympic Games – which saw Americans Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner bring home gold medals in freestyle competition – the question about who is next to move from the amateur wrestling ranks to the professional MMA divisions is hotter than ever.

For one Greco-Roman Olympic champion, however, the move wasn’t as easy or fun as he thought it would be.

“For me, it was a different transition,” 2000 Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner said to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour. “I’ve never really gotten into striking and hitting and hurting. I remember being in that fight and looking across [Hidehiko] Yoshida – he’s a very skilled, talented striker and ultimately his submissions and his ability to be able to throw is second to none – but as I was hitting him I’m like, ‘This isn’t fun. This isn’t why I became an athlete.’”

Gardner’s foray into mixed martial arts was shortlived. One bout, to be specific: a 2004 essentially open weight match with 1992 Olympic gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve. Gardner won via unanimous decision.

Despite the auspicious beginnings, something didn’t click for Gardner. Or rather, something clicked, but not in an expected or good way. Whereas in wrestling, Gardner was committed to winning and intensity, he felt MMA asked of him a savagery he simply wasn’t capable of. He didn’t feel right in a sport where the object was to hurt the opponent.

“I enjoyed that first fight and I enjoyed getting back into youth wrestling and that kind of stuff,” Gardner confessed. “I just didn’t have the killer instinct to go out there and just try to hurt somebody. It was almost an unknown feeling to me to feel what I was feeling when I fought, so it was a different journey. I didn’t really know if I wanted to go down to see that part of my personality because it’s a thing you have to pull out of yourself and that; that grittiness. I don’t know if I have that.”

“I’ve been to Rome and I’ve seen the coliseum. I kinda felt like I was a gladiator. I didn’t know if that’s where my calling was in life. I didn’t see myself being that type of fighter,” Gardner continued. “I didn’t see myself as a killer.”

That doesn’t mean, however, he wasn’t close to walking further down the MMA path. In fact, as Gardner revealed to Helwani, the management at PRIDE already had their sights set on Gardner’s next bout: a match with then-PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

“They wanted me to jump in there with Fedor. They’d offered me a substantial amount of money,” said Gardner. How substantial? According to Gardner, approximately $ 1 million.

“They loved the idea of me going against Fedor. You have sambo, you have wrestling, you have two of the classic styles of wrestling. They wanted us to go at it. I just said, ‘You know, I have better aspirations right now I want to get into.’”

Among the favorite PRIDE-era matchmaking tactics were the use of Olympic medalist, gold medalists preferably although not exclusively. They were often matched against one another as in the case of Gardner and Yoshida. Sometimes, however, they were fed to more seasoned opponents for, well, sport.

Multiple-time world judo champion and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Naoya Ogawa was butchered by Emelianenko in just 54 seconds in the judoka’s eighth professional bout. 2004 Olympic Greco-Roman gold medalist Karam Ibrahim Gaber was badly knocked out by Kazuyuki Fujita at K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite in the wrestler’s first and only ever MMA fight.

The lures of the fight game never appealed to Gardner. Not the competition itself or the naked cash grab. “Like I said, it wasn’t truly about making money. Some people in the world think everything’s about money. For me, it wasn’t. I think there are other things that I appreciated about the sport that I loved to learn,” he said.

That doesn’t mean even his close friends didn’t try to talk him into it. “You would not believe how many friends I had said exactly that. ‘Are you crazy? I could’ve went out there, you could’ve taken a dive or something!’” To hear Gardner tell it, that would’ve been a betrayal of the person he was – a person molded in the cauldron of tough but fair competition.

“No, no, no, no, no. That’s not the person I am,” said Gardner, roundly rejected the suggestion. “If you’re going to go out there and prepare for something like that, you train and you develop the technique.”

Gardner just didn’t have the will to put in the time. He told Helwani he didn’t feel like he had anything to prove in MMA and the effort it would take to prepare for someone the caliber of a 2004 Emelianenko in a bout where pain is the objective ultimately never appealed to him.

“It was looking at being a 6 or 8 or 10-month out before I’d even be able to even feel comfortable being in his level because back then Fedor was truly the man that people feared in the world of heavyweight MMA.”

“He was and I still think he is the most dangerous individual out there.”

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Bibiano Fernandes Spurns UFC Offer to Sign with Asian Promotion One FC

MMA Fighting

World-ranked bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes apparently has a new home, and it’s not in the octagon. The 32-year-old Brazilian who was briefly announced as a UFC fighter before saying he’d never officially signed, has now reportedly inked a deal with fast-growing Asian promotion One FC.

One FC said that he has officially signed with them and will debut at an August 31 show in Manila, Philippines.

An opponent, however, was not specified.

In early June, the UFC thought they had reached a deal to bring Fernandes into the fold, and even announced a date and opponent for his first match, which was set to be UFC 149 against Roland Delorme.

Within days, though, Fernandes said that while he had been negotiating with the UFC, the two sides had never signed a contract, and he had instead decided to weigh multiple offers. At the time, sources told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that he had verbally agreed to a deal before backing out when One FC offered him a more lucrative pact.

The One FC announcement ends the speculation about where he’s headed.

Fernandes (11-3) has won 10 of his last 11 fights dating back to 2008, including victories over Joachim Hansen, Joe Warren and Masakazu Imanari. The last DREAM bantamweight champion, he is ranked by most inside the division’s top 10.

One FC, which was formed in 2011, has to date produced four events. The most recent took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last weekend, with Renato “Babalu” Sobral defeating Tatsuya Mizuno in the main event.

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UFC on FX 4′s Clay Guida, Gray Maynard Offer Differing Views on Injury Bug

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

No one will ever accuse Clay Guida of competing at half-speed — that’s just not who he is.

So you’ll have to excuse him if he isn’t buying into the theory that the reason why so many UFC fighters are getting injured these days is because they’re training too hard. In fact, he sees no right answer to the latest hot-button issue plaguing the sport, other than maybe bad luck.

“You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t,” Guida told MMAFighting.com. “People say when you take it easy in training is when you get hurt. I played football growing up and my coaches used to say, The time you take a play off or you take it light is when you get hurt. And then, in most sports, like in MMA training, when you go hard is when you get hurt. That’s why I say you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.

“It’s tough. You always gotta be on the ball and be ready for everything, unfortunately.”

Over the past month, major UFC fights have been scrapped due to an assortment of injuries. Fans bought tickets to watch the likes of Dominick Cruz, Thiago Alves, Brian Stann, Jose Aldo, Michael Bisping and countless others fight, only to be reminded of the dreaded “card subject to change” line at the bottom of the bout sheet every time another quality scrap was, well, scrapped.

UFC president Dana White said last week on FUEL TV that he thinks fighters could be training too hard these days.

“You have so many talented guys out there now all in the same camp going at it like they’re fighting for the title. These guys need to tone it down in training a little bit and stop hurting each other.”

Gray Maynard, Guida’s opponent at UFC on FX 4 next Friday, tends to agree more with White on this issue.

“I think there’s a lot of people out there who push the guys too hard,” Maynard said. “They think more is better and more this, more that, but it’s not. That’s how a lot of injuries occur.

“I’m not saying it’s all coaches. I’m telling you that when there’s a team it’s always, bring in the best guys, hard sparring, everything’s hard, day after day after day. Your body can’t take that. You gotta pull back. There are camps that a lot of the injuries could be avoided by how they train. They could be a little smarter about it.”

Also, as Guida pointed out, fighters often bump into each other while training, which causes unexpected injuries. For example, that’s how Guida’s former teammate Rashad Evans injured himself before his scheduled UFC 128 title fight against Mauricio Rua last year.

“You just have to be conscious of your whereabouts and who’s around you. A lot of times you see this stuff, it might not even be the person you’re sparring with, you know, somebody else can shoot a takedown and lands on an ankle or a knee, whatever it is. Sometimes people may be careless, they let their guard down.”

In the end, though, it all goes back to the job description. Injuries occur when you fight, and that will never change. Eventually, the dreaded UFC injury bug will leave us alone for a period of time, just like it has over the past couple of years. What a relief that will be for all involved.

“You gotta realize, this is what we do,” Guida said. “This is how we make a living.”

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