When Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said he was willing to put Eddie Alvarez up against the top lightweights in the world, he wasn’t kidding. Bellator issued a press release today responding to Gilbert Melendez calling out Alvarez on Friday night’s edition of Inside MMA.
“I think he’s an amazing fighter and that’s why I call out Eddie Alvarez – let’s unify those titles,” Melendez said. “I’d love to fight that guy and test myself. I think if I could beat him, I could be No. 1 and vice-versa.”
Less than 24 hours later, Rebney and Alvarez were already accepting.
“As an MMA fan, first and foremost, Alvarez versus Melendez is an awesome fight at 155 that deserves to be seen and needs to be made,” Rebney said. “Gilbert has the heart of a warrior, just like our champion Eddie. I will do everything I can to get Gilbert what he asked for. Gilbert wants the fight, Eddie wants the fight and I want the fight. All we have to do is get Scott Coker on board and together we can make this happen. Eddie wants to fight the best and Gilbert wants to fight the best and there is no reason why any promoter or network should stand in the way of that.”
“Gilbert is a great fighter who’s got a lot of momentum going right now,” Alvarez said. “This is the match-up that all the fans want to see and it’d be a shame if it didn’t happen. I want to do it, Bjorn wants to do it and it sounds like Gilbert wants to do it. If I could sum up my thoughts in four words, it’d be: ‘Let’s make it happen.’”
Hell yeah… Gilbert wants it, Eddie wants it and Bellator wants it. Does Strikeforce?
Update: Scott Coker says Strikeforce is open to it, but only if the deal is right.
“We’d consider it. It depends on the timing,” he said.
“We had a conversation about Roger Huerta (currently under contract with Bellator) fighting for us, but the terms and conditions weren’t something that was attractive to us, so we passed. But we’ve had some good conversations with Bellator and the door’s open for anybody.”
“I think it’s about the deal,” Coker stated, “but if the deal’s right, let’s do it.”