Michael Chandler will face Will Brooks for Bellator’s interim lightweight crown. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The conclusion to the Eddie Alvarez-Michael Chandler trilogy will have to wait. Bellator’s plans to hold its inaugural pay-per-view on May 17 will not.
The promotion announced during a conference call on Saturday that Bellator 120 will move forward as planned as a pay-per-view offering. Some expected the promotion to move the entirety of the card to Spike TV when Eddie Alvarez was forced to withdraw from the event’s headliner due to a concussion suffered in training, but instead, Chandler will square off with Will Brooks in an interim lightweight title tilt. Brooks was initially scheduled to face Nate Jolly earlier on the pay-per-view draw before Alvarez’s injury; it is currently unclear if Jolly will remain on the card against a different opponent.
“It’s remaining on pay-per-view because it’s a pay-per-view worthy card,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “It’s a must-see card. It’s a premium level event and it’s going to remain on pay-per-view. There was never a question or a hesitation to keep this level event on pay-per-view. We had an utterly spectacular show, and now we’ve got a spectacular show. I could not be happier about it staying right where it is.”
Brooks had even stronger words for those questioning the event’s viability as a pay-per-view.
“I’m getting kind of annoyed of people asking why is this still on pay-per-view. I personally think you’re a fool if you ask that question,” Brooks said. “…All people are doing when they ask this question is making yourself sound like a cheap ass. You’re de-valuing the fighters, the event and the organization.”
Bellator 120 takes place at the Landers Center in Southhaven, Miss., and will also see Quinton Jackson lock horns with Muhammed Lawal in the evening's main event. In addition, middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko clashes with former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at 205 pounds. A heavyweight tournament final bout between Blagoi Ivanov and Alexander Volkov has been moved from the Spike TV preliminary card to the main bill. The price of the five-bout pay-per-view lineup depends on the provider, with most charging somewhere between $30 and $45.
Bellator’s first try at pay-per-view last November faced similar difficulties when Ortiz suffered a neck injury and was forced to withdraw just one week away from his main event matchup with Jackson. As a result, the promotion moved the card – headlined by the Chandler-Alvarez rematch – to Spike TV.
No timetable has been established for Alvarez’s return. The Blazilians member is 9-1 in Bellator, most recently regaining the 155-pound belt with a hard-fought decision over Chandler on Nov. 2. Both fights between Chandler and Alvarez were regarded as two of the best in company history. Rebney said he hopes to rebook Alvarez-Chandler III at a later date.
“Late last week we received a call from [Alvarez’s] manager explaining that Ed had hit his head on a training partners’s hip and he was experiencing dizziness in training. We were then told following that initial call that we would be receiving daily updates, but that the situation was improving,” Rebney said. “Last Tuesday we were told that Ed was doing full cardio training but still experiencing a small amount of dizziness when he grappled but that he was back to about 70 percent. On Friday we were told that he’d made no further progress past the 70 percent. But he was still doing full cardio training and that he was questioning whether or not he could fight on the pay-per-view….Early this morning, Ed officially pulled out of the fight.”