Eddie Alvarez Returns to Bellator, Gets Title Shot!
When Bellator's Lightweight star Eddie Alvarez decided to test the waters of free agency at the end of last year, things got messy when Bellator matched the UFC's contract offer. The details of the dispute are well detailed, but both parties appear to have buried the hatchet, as Bellator announced that Eddie Alvarez has resigned with the company for a shot at regaining his Lightweight title against undefeated titlist Michael Chandler. The fight will take place on November 2nd in Long Beach, California on Bellator's first ever PPV event headlined by the Tito Ortiz vs Rampage Jackson bout.
Alvarez has done it his whole career, and with a main event that is uninteresting to most hardcore fans, look for him to steal the show. Now, Chandler could definitely win again, but with Alvarez we are almost assured of an exciting match. With Alvarez' strong Philly based following, he could very well open up even against Chandler, or even a slight favorite.
Chandler was reported to be making his boxing debut this past June, but that did not happen. He signed a long extension with Bellator, so it is safe to say we are going to see a very motivated Michael Chandlerwho will be coming in to the fight in top form. It has been talked about by members of the GSP camp and others, that a lot of money goes in to a world class training camp, and now Chandler presumably has some money. Chandler's best win is the title taking bout against Alvarez, but he has some solid names on his resume, including Olympian Rick Hawn, Polish protege Marcin Held and Brazilian Patricky Freire.
The match could on fact be over very fast. Both Alvarez and Chandler have KO power, with Chandler having 2 first minute KO's in his last 3 fights. If this turns into a slug-fest early when both men are fresh, it is anybody's fight. But what is more likely is a feeling out process, with Chandler having the advantage in reach. Alvarez is at his most dangerous in the first two rounds, because he is traditionally a fast starter. Chandler was able to extend the fight into the 4th round when he took Alvarez out in the first outing.
Alvarez has a lot more experience than Chandler in terms of fighting, especially at a high level. Alvarez may have a game plan put together for Chandler, but Alvarez is best served by not letting this match go to the cards.
Be on the lookout for the early lines on this fight, because it could go either way. If the Alvarez' bettors show up and Chandler is actually a underdog, Chandler may very well be a great pick.