Eddie Alvarez had a break-out year in 2008, despite finishing the year on NYE with a loss against Shinya Aoki. After winning back-to-back fights against highly ranked opponents in Joachim Hansen and Tatsuya Kawajiri — both of which were FOTY candidates — Alvarez popped up on everybody’s Lightweight Top 10 list.
The new Bellator Fighting Championships promotion recently announced that it had signed Alvarez to an exclusive contract, which would place him in a tournament set to air on ESPN Deportes this Spring. Despite this, Five Ounces is reporting that Alvarez’s contract was one of those pesky personal service contracts picked up by Strikeforce when acquiring the “assets” of ProElite (meaning select fighter contracts, the event video library, and Jared Shaw’s NSFW American Idol audition tape).
Alvarez’s manager Monte Cox says not to worry:
According to Cox, Alvarez’s primary promotional rights belong to Adrenaline MMA and that contracts with companies such as EliteXC and DREAM are superseded by Alvarez’s pact with Cox. However, the long-time manager and promoter added that a meeting with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker could be neccessary to clarify any confusion over Alvarez’s contractual committments.
Normally, this wouldn’t be any news at all. A simple contract clause stipulating that Alvarez’s deal with Cox (and thus his deal with Bellator) trumps any other agreement would probably do the trick. But notice the term “pact” as opposed to contract. Then remember that Cox has been making these “pacts” for years without putting them in writing. Cox via Sherdog:
I’m an odd character in that I don’t do contracts. For 13 years, I’ve gone on a handshake. But now, it’s become a little different in that you take somebody that you’ve developed and you’ve built and they’re making a lot of money and then they jump to somebody else. And it leaves you holding the bag. So now I’m definitely thinking about going with written contracts.
Cox doesn’t do contracts, but now he’s thinking about it. After all, why get something in writing when you could just shake on it? It’s not like a written document has a host of legal benefits that a verbal agreement simply doesn’t. That would just be silly. Remember one thing before you bash Cox for his cognitive thinking skills: he has used that same brain to become one of the top managers in all of MMA while you don’t wear clean underwear unless mom feels like doing the wash. Whose the real winner?
This could very well turn into a non-story. At the same time, these multiple contracts coupled with Cox’s inability to put things in writing could turn out to be a bit of a problem. After all, if Alvarez wasn’t in enough shit just by having his name attached to something related to ProElite, now he’s got this manager who hates using paper and a new jumpstart promotion set to air on ESPN claiming to have exclusive rights to him. I have trouble paying strippers to pretend to fight over me yet Alvarez is wanted across continents in the MMA world. I’m guessing, at some point, he signed up for jiu-jitsu lessons while I was trying to see how many tacos I could eat in one sitting. Yeah, that’s about right.