The saga surrounding the future of lightweight Eddie Alvarez has come to an end and it turns out he won’t be fighting in the UFC after all. Rather, Alvarez has agreed to a deal with previous employer Bellator and will return to the organization’s cage on November 2 at an upcoming PPV event where he’ll face champion Michael Chandler in a rematch of a tremendous tilt from 2011. The decision to do so ends a nasty legal battle over Alvarez’s contractual rights as a restricted free agent.
“I still lose sleep over my loss to Chandler, and I want it off my record,” said Alvarez in a press release announcing the match-up. “This was a long process, but at the end of the day I’m back with Bellator and I’m happy to get back in the cage. I really believe everything happens for a reason, and at the end of the day my family and I are happy.”
Chandler also appears to be anxious about finally getting a second shot at Alvarez as a means of showing the world how far he’s come since their initial encounter.
“Without sounding too disrespectful, when I fought Eddie the first time in 2011, I didn’t even know what it meant to be an MMA fighter. Two years later, I’ve grown so much as a mixed martial artist, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind on November 2, my hand will be raised and the belt will be around my waist,” explained Chandler. “I have full confidence that I can take this fight wherever I want, whenever I want because I didn’t even show much of my wrestling in that last fight and I was able to beat him just with my standup. My ground game has always been there, and I’ve taken my striking to a whole new level since the last time we met. I feel like I have more experience under my belt, I’m wiser, stronger, and have had so much time in the gym trying to become the best fighter I can be.”
Alvarez holds an overall record of 24-3 including knockout wins over Patricky Freire and Shinya Aoki in outings after losing his Fight of the Year candidate with Chandler. Comparably, Chandler is 12-0 with ten stoppages including a 44-second pasting of David Rickels last month at Bellator 97.