Speaking Monday on The MMA Hour with host Ariel Helwani, a cautious and cagey Alvarez indicated the contract negotiations had been difficult and that formal legal action is now apparently the next step in the proceedings:
We don't believe [the UFC contract offer] was matched at all. I want to give details, but we're in the middle of a lawsuit...We went to a settlement meeting maybe a couple days ago...and I was sued 30 minutes after that meeting was over. So there's some tension in the air. I'm trying not to get too frustrated in the meantime.
It was previously reported that Bellator matched the UFC's offer, but Alvarez indicated that the terms were not actually comparable. Alvarez, who said he was not allowed to discuss the details or terms of either contract offer, compared the situation to a dinner date:
It's like one guy has the intention to take me to a fine restaurant and eat lobster, and the other guy wants to take me to McDonald's. The second guy thinks dinner is dinner. But the two things are very different...A match in my book is if one promotion pays me $10, then the other promotion would pay me $10. But that's not what happened.
When his most recent contract with Bellator expired, Alvarez (24-3) became the subject of a complex and, apparently, acrimonious bidding war between the UFC and Bellator. The former Bellator lightweight champion, Alvarez, 28, is considered one of the best lightweights in the world, despite never fighting in the UFC. Alvarez is unquestionably one of the best and most marketable fighters on the Bellator roster.
Alvarez expressed confusion over the nature of the lawsuit, though he had a clear opinion on such a lawsuit's merits.
"I'm not 100 percent sure what the lawsuit is for," Alvarez said. "To us, it's pretty plain and simple. If this goes before anybody in court, they're going to see really fast that this is not a match."
Alvarez said he did not know what the next steps might be or what the time frame for a resolution might look like. In the meantime, Alvarez said he would continue to train.
"I'm disappointed," he said. "I gave a lot of my life to Bellator, and I've let them know how I feel, and I don't get much back in return...It's awful."