The long winding run of Eddie Alvarez in Bellator is finally over.
ESPN.com originally reported that Bellator gave its current lightweight champion his unconditional release from the organization.
“We’ve granted Eddie his unconditional release” stated Bellator president Scott Coker in a press 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 now former two-time Bellator lightweight champion also released a statement.
“This was a long process but it’s a decision that everyone seems happy with”, Alvarez stated. “I think it’s important to say that I am genuinely thankful for my time at Bellator. I know that sounds a little crazy given everything I went through, but I’ve fought there since 2009, and have been involved in some really amazing fights. The staff there always treated me great, and I’m going to miss seeing a lot of those familiar faces around for sure. Myself and my team had some really good discussions with Scott, but in my heart I knew I was ready to move on and start the next chapter in my career.”
The contentious relationship with Alvarez and Bellator began when his contract ended and then received an offer from the UFC in 2012 during the negotiation period Alvarez had. Bellator claimed matching rights to the UFC offer and the two sides filled lawsuits against each other that lasted into 2013. The two parties agreed to a two-fight deal and Alvarez only fought once in that deal when he beat Michael Chandler at Bellator 106 last November to regain the lightweight title.
No word on what will be next for Alvarez and if Bellator will remove the interim lightweight champion tag from Will Brooks.