Had he done the latter, he would have triggered a negotiation period with Bellator, then a matching period, at which time he would be free to negotiate with the UFC. Well, he's opted to speed up that process by fighting at least once more in the organization.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Alvarez has agreed to fight on October 15, fulfilling the final fight on his contract. His opponent has not been signed, but Bellator is expected to announce it in the coming days. The event will take place at Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Following that final fight, Alvarez will enter his matching period with the organization. That means he's free to field offers, but Bellator has a right to match the contract within a three month span. They had that right with former Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard, opting not to match the terms offered by the UFC.
Penick's Analysis: Well, if the UFC offers Alvarez terms in short order, and Bellator decides not to match them, Alvarez could potentially debut in the UFC as early as the end of the year. He may not want to turn around quite that quickly, but he realistically could be in the UFC by January. That's an exciting prospect for his fans, who have wanted to see how he can perform against the top competition in the sport. And though he did suffer a loss to Michael Chandler last fall, he can still prove himself as a top competitor in the lightweight division if he heads to the Octagon.
[Eddie Alvarez photo (c) Henry Dziekan III]