Eddie Alvarez’s time in Bellator has officially come to an end. The Bellator lightweight champion has been granted his release from then promotion by President Scott Coker, as reported by Brett Okamoto.
Coker commented on the release in a statement released by Bellator.
“We’ve granted Eddie his unconditional release. Eddie is free to explore the free agent market, we hold no matching rights, and we wish him the best in the future. We sat down with Eddie and his team a few times, and it became pretty clear early on that he just wasn’t interested in fighting for Bellator in the future. We want guys in this organization that want to be here, and after the history Eddie and the former regime had here at Bellator, we decided to move on. We wish Eddie the absolute best of luck with whatever is next for him. It’s a new chapter for everyone involved.”
The 30 year old Alvarez’s 6-year stint with Bellator was a roller coaster ride of emotions and long drawn out battles both inside and outside of the cage. Most notably his court battle with Bellator and their former CEO Bjorn Rebney in 2013, which led to Alvarez being out of action for over a year.
Eddie Alvarez (25-3) joined Bellator in 2009—fighting on their inaugural show—as one of the top lightweights in the world and quickly became the face of the promotion. From there Alvarez won his first 7 straight fights in Bellator including winning the season one lightweight tournament and becoming the inaugural Bellator lightweight champion.
Alvarez would be upset in his 2nd defence of his lightweight title–suffering a knockout at the hands of Michael Chandler at Bellator 58. He then went on to finish the last two remaining fights on his contract with Bellator—defeating Shinya Aoki and Patricky Freire.
Then as a free agent in 2012, Alvarez signed a contract with the UFC and thought he was on his way. But Bellator said not so fast to Eddie Alvarez , invoking their matching clause on the lightweight. Alvarez and his management took Bellator to court citing that the two contract offers did not match, and the two parties were engaged in a long drawn out battle, sidelining Alvarez’s career.
An agreement was eventually reached and Alvarez would return to Bellator to defeat Michael Chandler in a rematch for the lightweight title at Bellator 106 in November of 2013. The two were expected to compete in a trilogy bout at Bellator’s first PPV, before Alvarez suffered a concussion and was forced to pull out.
Thanks to Bellator’s new regime led by Scott Coker, Eddie Alvarez is now once again a free agent.