Michael Chandler got the best of Eddie Alvarez in their first encounter, but that doesn’t mean squat to Bellator’s lightweight champion. Nearly two years ago, Chandler submitted Alvarez to win the title in what is often described as the best fight in the promotion’s history.
“When we step into that cage, that first fight doesn’t even matter,” said Chandler to Sherdog. “If I’m getting my face beat in and I’m about to get knocked out, the fact that I won the first fight sure as heck isn’t going to help me. When we get locked in that cage, it doesn’t matter what your ranking is or whether you’re the favorite or the champion. All that matters is who wants it more that night.”
After a lengthy contract dispute, Alvarez signed a new deal with Bellator. The exact details aren’t known, but Alvarez was able to bypass the tournament for his title shot.
Alvarez returns after a year away from competition and last took a pair of first round knockout wins from Bellator. Chandler is undefeated with 12 wins and two title defenses this year.