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Eddie Alvarez Regains Bellator Lightweight Title with Split Decision Win Over Michael Chandler

Posted on by Jeff Cain

Eddie Alvarez Nov2_0790-478x270The rematch between Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and former titleholder Eddie Alvarez has been two years in the making. After a bitter contractual dispute with the organization, Alvarez returned to action for the first time in a year on Saturday at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, Calif., hoping to win back the title Chandler took from him in November of 2011.

They met in the center of the cage and immediately got to work at the sound of the opening bell. Chandler pressed forward as Alvarez worked on the outside. Chandler was the aggressor in the round. He caught a kick from Alvarez and slammed him to the canvas in the closing moments, likely taking the round. He took Alvarez’s back and looked for a rear naked choke, but Alvarez defended the submission attempt.

Chandler continued to press the action in the second frame, while Alvarez circled and counter punched. Chandler closed the distance and slammed Alvarez to the canvas. Alvarez bounced back to his feet only to be taken down again. He stood and was slammed again. Alvarez worked his way back to his feet and delivers a combination, opening up a cut under the champion’s left eye. Chandler secured a late takedown to close out the round.

Alvarez had found his range in the third round. He defended Chandler’s takedown attempts and the complexion of the fight began to change. Chandler was able to get Alvarez down late in the round, but Alvarez did more damage.

The ringside doctor checked the cut under Chandler’s eye between rounds and he was deemed able to continue. He came out in the fourth round with a sense of urgency. He leaped in, landing a flying knee. He grounded the challenger and landed a right hand and several elbows, logging the most dominant round of the fight.

Alvarez’s corner told him that he needed to finish Chandler to get the win, and Alvarez listened. He pressed the action, but Chandler landed a lead uppercut and took Alvarez down. He took Alvarez’s back, but Alvarez scrambled to his feet. Alvarez secured a takedown and took Chandler’s back, working for a rear naked choke. Chandler defended, spun and gained top control. Alvarez stood, but was slammed back to the canvas in the closing seconds.

“It takes two people to put a fight on like that,” said Alvarez after regaining the Bellator lightweight title via a split decision by the judges. “This is my teammates, my coaches, my wife, my kids, a whole lot of sacrifice. I had a feeling in my gut that I was going to be the new lightweight champion.

“Thank you everyone who supported me through this.”

Bellator 106 Official Results:

Main Card Results:
-Eddie Alvarez def. Michael Chandler by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
-Emanuel Newton
 def. Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
-Daniel Straus 
def. Pat Curran by unanimous decision (49-45, 48-46, 48-46)
-Joe Riggs def. Mike Bronzoulis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Mike Richman def. Akop Stepanyan by TKO at 4:05, R1

Preliminary Card Results:


-Jesse Juarez def. Joe Williams by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:57, R1
-Cristiano Souza def. Alejandro Garcia by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:06, R3
-Brandon Halsey def. Hector Ramirez by TKO at 0:52, R1
-Mike Guymon def. Aaron Miller by submission (triangle choke) at 4:20, R2
-Cleber Luciano def. Joe Camacho by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Josh Smith def. Darren Smith by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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  • Madmmax

    Another great fight. Tough decision. Will have to watch this one again. Thought chandler had it. 10-8 5th rd for Alvarez? Can’t wait for the trilogy. I vote immediate rematch. UFC dominates every other weight class, but I think either one of these guys could beat any UFC lightweights

    • acspider#244

      Great fight! I thought chandler took 3 rounds. To say they would beat any LW out there may be sstteach IMO. Both top 10 and/or 5 for sure. I just think they match up so well against each other. They compliment each others style. One has to think either would fare well against the top LW though. Awesome fight. I’m a fan of both athletes.

    • drkdisciple

      seriously? Besides fighting each other what other quality opponents did they beat at lightweight? Patricky freire,Aoki, Huerta, Rickels, Hawn, Gono….etc hardly qualify as top level competition. I like both guys but they have ways to go before they are considered top 5 lightweights.

      • Madmmax

        Serious. True about the level of competition. But if you understand the fight game and what it takes to compete at that level you’d know both guys are right up there. Both well rounded on their feet. Alvarez one of the better boxing in MMA. Chandler just gotta learn to keep his hand up other wise a lot of power and speed along with top notch wrestling. Alvarez good take down D along with good Jiu Jit su. They would def give anyone in UFC a run for their money. Can’t really say that for much of the rest of the Bellator roster

  • DaKidJesseJames

    Decision could of gone either way, nonetheless there will be a 3rd and im excited. Wish we could see Chandler vs Bendo and Eddie vs either Gil or Pettis!

  • Bugster

    i also had it for Chandler,but I think the judges probably look at the damage. Anyway, it was a great fight, the rest of the card will just very ugly. Especially the Curran fight, just horrible.

    • acspider#244

      Chandler took damage early but seemed to be busting up EA in later rounds. Both had rough looking eye. Man does Chandler keep his hands low! Seems like he would take less damage if he kept his hands up a bit higher. Wouldn’t eat so many jabs and strafing punches. That’s kind of his style I guess and certainly works as he us a beast.

  • Jay Mcgarrity

    Awesome fight again. I thought Chandler had it also but it was definitely close. I guess Eddie is locked in with bellator for even longer now after that win. How long until someone throws up a conspiracy comment about the decision as to keep Eddie with bellator?!

    I think it’s safe to say that the only fight that could’ve maybe contended with how good this one was would be the Tito vs Rampage fight. jks

  • Maddawgmar

    I definately saw this fight for Alvarez. He did way more damage, and if it wasn’t for Chandler mixing in some wrestling the fight would have been one sided. The first round was razor thin. But 2,3 and 5 were Alvarez.

    I said this after the last fight, if these two fought ten times they would go 5-5, maybe 6-4 if someone gets a flash KO.

  • Dick hertz

    Eddie won this ! It was very close but 2,3,5 alvarez ,also look at round 1 real well. Some could give that to him also. What a fight !! Damn that’s entertaining . Thst is real life rocky stuff going on there . Go Philly!!!

  • Omar Hisenberg

    I thought it was a razor close fight and almost impossible to score, especially in the early rounds. I felt like the decision would probably go to Chandler, but upon rewatching it, I am especially glad Eddie won. He did all the damage. He dropped Chandler to his knee with that salvo. In the early frames he was peppering Chandler with punches and busted him up and I don’t think the slams and submission attempts were enough to make up the difference. But if I watch it a third time I’ll probably change the score again. Hardest fight I have ever tried to score.

  • Ksmma

    I thought chandler squeaked it out but he was beat up pretty bad. Oh we’ll at least we will be treated to a third fight. If the third is as good as the first two it will be one of the best trilogies in mma history.

  • Shred Man

    Chandler definitely won, 4 rounds to 1. He got robbed.

  • Two+hrsnevergetback

    Had it 3 rounds to two chandler was a bad decision n it is better for belator Alvarez won cause chandler boring fighter if I want to watch dry humping I’d watch soft core porn on lifetime no wander Dana dnt want to buy the company 3 of their buggiest fights n all second rate at best

  • candelario

    round 1,2 either way,
    round 3,5 for sure Eddie
    round 4 for sure Chandler
    AT the end of the day if you leave it to the judges…. it is what it is

    • Maddawgmar

      I agree I split 1 and 2 but barely. But ultimately gave it to Alvarez.

  • julian moran

    I had it 3 to 2 to chandler, however, I am glad Alvarez won and believe he will win the rematch, as Alvarez seemed affected from ring rust, while Chandler was just getting worn down from the fight.

  • Joey D.

    Chandler and Alvarez both would get knocked out by any decent lw in the UFC. Chandler keeps his hands at his waist and has a brawling style. Not a good combination. Alvarez is a bit better with his hands up but leaves his chin out there like a billboard. I will say they put on a great fight due to their complementing styles. Just my opinion.

    • Omar Hisenberg

      Yea Gray Maynard and TJ grant are such technical strikers…amirite

    • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

      UFC has Maynard, RDA, Nate Diaz, Jim Miller and Cerrone as top 10, and I can’t c them beating either Chandler or Alvarez, they’re all average fighters at this point.

  • Christina

    I went to bed before the decision thinking Chandler had won easily. The decision really surprised me this morning.

  • Kenny Powers

    I gave Alvarez rounds 1,3,5, Chandler 2,4. I gave it to Eddie cuz he was countering Chandler and doing more damage, in the rounds Eddie won Chandler got takedowns but couldnt do much with them. I think both these guys would be good at 145 in the UFC.