Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez can pinpoint the exact moment when his planned title defense with Michael Chandler was taken away from him.
Officials with Bellator confirmed over the weekend that Alvarez will not be able to fight Saturday against Chandler at Bellator 120. In his place will be Will Brooks in a bout for the interim Bellator title.
The event will be the first pay-per-view for the promotion, and the Alvarez-Chandler meeting was to be the highlight. The two have split their previous fights, with each winning the belt.
During an appearance on “The MMA Hour” Monday, Alvarez documented when he started feeling concussion-like symptoms. It all began when UFC fighter Abel Trujillo defended a takedown in practice and another partner, who Alvarez did not identify, landed a heel to his chin on another exchange.
“Kenny Monday’s wrestling practice is pretty intense. You normally feel exhausted and dizzy after, so I didn’t know whether just to take it that I was feeling the symptoms because I took a hard shot, or I was just tired and exhausted,” Alvarez said (thanks to MMAFighting.com for transcribing). “I went home, rested and when I came in the next day, my head was feeling pressure when I got really light impact. The following day, it got even worse.”
Alvarez said he phoned his manager and explained the situation, but believed he could still fight against Chandler. He added during the interview that prior to his last fight vs. Chandler, he “got knocked out probably five weeks before the fight.”
The 30-year-old Alvarez confirmed that his next fight – against the winner of Chandler-Brooks – will be on pay-per-view and that it will allow him to become a free agent afterwards. In 2012, Alvarez and Bellator had a long, drawn out court battle after the fighter agreed to a deal with the UFC.