Eddie Alvarez says ONE deal worth ‘8-figures’, more big signings to come. Ben Askren to UFC?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Eddie Alvarez (photo credit Bob DeChiara © USA Today Sports)

Eddie Alvarez may have signed one of the biggest money deals in the history of MMA. In an interview on Ariel Helwani’s ESPN.com talk show Monday, Alvarez shared that his deal with ONE Championship is an “Eight figure, guaranteed contract.”

Alvarez also added that the offer he received from UFC was good but that ONE’s offer “crushed” and “lapped” any other offer he received. The former UFC lightweight champ said that Bellator, promotions from Russia, Poland, as well as Bareknuckle Fighting all expressed interest. He also said that his ONE deal goes beyond a typical fighter, promoter relationship.

“ONE made me a partner in their promotion,” Alvarez told Helwani. “It was more of a partnership than, ‘Hey, come on as a fighter. Here’s your money to fight,’ and that’s it.”

“The Underground King” was very optimistic about ONE’s future and expects that he will not be the last big signing for the Asia based promotion.

“I’m not the last large signing in the next month or so,” he said. “There will be a shift, a massive shift, in power towards ONE Championship.”

Another big signing would be more than huge for ONE, it is almost a necessity as Alvarez is going to need someone to fight.

Meanwhile, Ben Askren, the former face of ONE may be closer than believed to be headed to UFC. Askren, who claimed retirement earlier this year, and UFC have always seemed to be at odds. UFC President Dana White was never high on Askren publicly but has softened on that stance in recent months. A tweet from Helwani today indicated that Askren and UFC may be getting close to an agreement, but Helwani stipulated that nothing is official. Helwani called the talks “promising movement” in response to a tweet from Askren giving a “98%” chance he ends up in UFC.

A swap with Alvarez to ONE and Askren to UFC could be a boost to both promotions. For now, we’ll stay with Helwani and consider Askren in UFC a “dream.” In the meantime, Alvarez can bask in his eight figures.

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