The U.S. District Court of New Jersey denied a claim made on Friday January 25th, by former and the inaugural Bellator Lightweight Champion, Eddie Alvarez, for an injunction that would have allowed him to compete at a UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen in Newark, NJ.
The claim was a countersuit filed by the Top 10 Lightweight from Philly, on January 15th against the organization he helped grow from the beginning. Bellator Fighting Championships filed a lawsuit against Alvarez on January 3rd for a breach of contract after the fighter wanted to accept an eight-fight offer from the top company in the sport, the UFC.
Alvarez signed a long-term deal with Bellator in 2008 that granted the then unknown MMA promotion a 90-day exclusivity period at the end of the contract, and the right to match any contract offered to Alvarez within a one year period.
Bellator, owned by a multi-billion dollar company in Viacom, exercised that right in December 2012, when they say they matched the UFC contract offered to Alvarez. That contract details were a $250,000 signing bonus, an fight purse of $70,000 , and a share of PPV revenue based on units sold for his first bout, and any bout after that in which he was defending the UFC Lightweight title.
Alvarez has claimed the Bellator deal fails to match the UFC contract based on the promotion never having an event aired on PPV in its entire history. The UFC contract also guarantees one of Eddie Alvarez's fights being aired on a UFC on FOX fight card.
Bellator's attorneys have claimed the company is planning its first PPV event in the first quarter of 2013. They also state claim that there is no "meaningful difference" between the audience reach of FOX and Bellator's new home (UFC's former home), Spike TV. Bellator also states there will be at least two reruns of Alvarez bouts that would air on Spike TV. UFC on FOX events usually don't air again on FOX, but do air multiple times on fellow FOX Network Television owned channel, Fuel TV.
Federal Judge Jose L. Linares denied Alvarez's claim based on a "failure to show reasonable probability his lawsuit would hold up should the two sides go to trial." The Philadelphia MMA star, Eddie Alvarez, will unfortunately remain without a fight scheduled until everything gets settled, which for MMA fans sake is hopefully soon.