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Bjorn Rebney labels Eddie Alvarez as a liar

Bjorn Rebney labels Eddie Alvarez as a liar

The ongoing dispute between lightweight Eddie Alvarez and Bellator is growing uglier by the day. Though things started out as a fairly civil disagreement about Alvarez’s contractual obligations, the situation has since turned into a fight filled with name-calling, finger-pointing, and promises of lengthy litigation.

Alvarez recently fired a shot across the bow accusing Bellator of tweaking an offer in hopes of fooling his management. Rather than stay quiet and wait for things to play out in court, CEO Bjorn Rebney decided to address Alvarez’s assertion by saying it was categorically false.

“He needs to stop saying things that aren’t true and aren’t accurate, and at which point if he admits what he said is untrue, then we’ll re-engage with him. Until that time, we’ll just see this thing through trial,” said Rebney in an interview with MMAJunkie.

“I have an enormous problem with somebody spreading completely untrue statements and lying about a situation. That’s where the issue comes from, and there’s a series of things he’s said as of late – literally the last few days, starting with the statements he made on the sixth, when he said point-blank that we had manipulated documents and changed wording and had put him in a horrible position and that we had changed terms in the early release letter versus what was in the contract,” he continued. “Nothing was changed. ‘Material terms’ language was never added. It is not part of that final document that was signed. That is just false. That isn’t a misunderstanding. That is not, ‘Oh, I misunderstood what you said,’ or, ‘I misconstrued what you said.’ That is just a completely untrue and false statement. That’s what makes me nuts because when you look at it, all of those documents are with the court.”

Rebney went on to explain he understood why the public had taken up Alvarez’s cause but was confident the facts would ultimately prove Bellator had been in the right since the beginning. The two sides are expected to face off in court later this year.


  • darth_irritable says:

    Ol’ Bjorn’s dancing a bit here. He said “Nothing was changed. ‘Material terms’ language was never added. It is not part of that final document that was signed.”

    Eddie actually said he didn’t sign the copy he got with that wording, and had it changed, so Bjorn appears to be playing a game with semantics here. I hope Alvarez can pony up the original modified document in court.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    If Eddie does lose and stays with Bellator, I see them making his life hell there and barely letting him fight, and Bellator will still be somewhat tainted I think in the eyes of other fighters/fans. If Bellator loses, then good for Eddie, and Bellator is still somewhat tainted in the eyes of other fighters/fans.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Eddie posted the unsigned letter online:

    Oh Bjorn, you wacky liar, you!

  • Richard Stabone says:

    As I understand it, including the language “all material terms” would benefit Bellator. With “material terms” you’re talking about the stuff that’s completely tangible… a contract that includes X number of fights on the deal, at X salary per fight, and so on. But then there is all of the other potential bonuses the UFC can offer–the intangible stuff–that Bellator wants to steer clear of in order to keep things as black-and-white as possible. Saying “we’ll match only the material stuff” would be an easier way to get around it, whereas leaving it out leaves a murky picture that the courts will likely have to decide.

    So when Bjorn says this…

    “Nothing was changed. ‘Material terms’ language was never added. It is not part of that final document that was signed.”

    …it seems to be a half truth/half lie. Apparently something did change, with a letter Eddie has produced including that language, but then the final document not including it. I’m assuming Bjorn is basically saying, the final document doesn’t include that language so what is all the fuss about?

    The courts can sort out the details of the contract, and their interpretation of the *match clause* is what will utlimately matter. These public spats do nothing to help either side, although it’s pretty clear Eddie is winning in the court of public opinion. I’m basically on the fence – obviously there is more money to be made fighting under the UFC banner thanks to the huge exposure it provides (sponsorship, potential PPV earnings, etc.), and from a selfish standpoint I’d like to see Eddie fighting in the UFC. But on the other hand, Bellator invested in Eddie long before the UFC did and provided the platform that allowed him to get to where he’s at today. And they wisely included a match clause; now they’re simply trying to exercise that clause in order to protect their investment. But if that part is deemed unfair (from a legal standpoint), the courts will side with Eddie and he’ll move on to greener pastures.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    But I am still going to predict that the court sides with Bellator, and Eddie will stay put and continue fighting for them. What else would he do, turn down what will still be a pretty huge contract (with base terms that match what the UFC was willing to pony up) and go get high with Nick Diaz?

    And for Bellator, they’ll continue to run their organization in a professional manner. Business isn’t always pretty but you roll with the punches, move on, and try to remain professional. Bjorn isn’t going to try to emulate Dana White by holding some silly grudge. Eddie is Bellator’s prize horse, and keeping him on the sidelines would be cutting off the nose to spite the face. What’s good for Bellator will be good for Eddie, and vice versa.

    The downside to us as fans is we don’t get to see Eddie take on the top UFC guys, but I’ll settle for seeing a Chandler rematch.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Richard, I think the issue is that Bellator sent the more favorable (to them) letter to Eddie direct to sign, in hopes that he’d inadvertently sign away some rights. The fact that Eddie caught it, and bounced it back to them doesn’t make it any less of a douchebag move.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    This thing is being spun as Bellator trying to screw over Eddie Alvarez and we simply don’t know that to be true. Bellator might have included the term “material” in an initial agreement to simply state things more explicitly, making it clear for all parties involved & to hprfully avoid this current mess of ambiguity. Maybe Eddie’s agent/lawyer asked to remove that term from the final document. And when it comes down to the legal battle, I doubt the case is gonna hinge on the term “material” being included/excluded from the overall agreement anyway.

    But if Bellator is screwing Eddie over like the public is buying into, he oughtta have a slam dunk case in court.


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