Eddie Alvarez will defend his Bellator title against a familiar foe. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
A third meeting between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler is expected to headline Bellator MMA’s inaugural pay-per-view this spring.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney revealed the plan during a Jan. 20 conference call. No date or location was announced for the rubber match. Bellator’s 10th season begins Feb. 28, when Bellator 110 goes down at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Alvarez and Chandler first met more than two years ago, when Chandler upset the highly regarded champion by submitting him in the fourth round of their wild Bellator 58 encounter. The setback was the first for Alvarez since December 2008, when he submitted to a Shinya Aoki heel hook. The Philadelphian avenged his defeat to “Tobikan Judan” in 2012, when Alvarez knocked out Aoki in his first fight since dropping the Bellator title to Chandler. Alvarez then did the same to Patricky Freire to conclude his Bellator contract and attempted to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, Bellator exercised its matching rights, and Alvarez ended up back with the Viacom-owned organization after a legal battle.
Upon returning, Alvarez was booked to challenge Chandler for the lightweight title at Bellator’s first pay-per-view in November. However, the event was instead moved to Spike TV at the 11th hour after Tito Ortiz suffered a neck injury that knocked him out of a planned headliner opposite fellow ex-UFC champion Quinton Jackson.
Alvarez regained his title from Chandler in a “Fight of the Year” nominee at Bellator 106, taking a split decision and handing Chandler the first loss of his pro career. Prior to stumbling in the Alvarez rematch, Chandler had posted nine straight victories, including successful title defenses against Rick Hawn and David Rickels.
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