The pair first met in 2011 in a bout that is now considered a classic.
Chandler submitted Alvarez in the 4th round to become the Bellator lightweight champion. Yahoo! Sports voted it the Fight of the Year.
Two years later Alvarez avenged that loss and won back the title. The result was a split decision, and it was his final fight for Bellator before moving to the UFC.
Michael Chandler: “There’s no doubt that Eddie Alvarez is the greatest dance partner I will ever have. My career will never be fulfilled without us finishing that trilogy fight. Finishing that trilogy with Eddie needs to happen. It could be the greatest trilogy in MMA history.” pic.twitter.com/PtHuZhLDOS
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) January 10, 2020
Speaking to SCMP recently, Alvarez said he has no interest in renewing rivalries with his former foe.
“No, I don’t care about him either,” Alvarez said. “I don’t because again it’s another guy who doesn’t hold a world title. He wasn’t the champion of Bellator. He got knocked out by the 145 pounder [Patricio Freire], and he’s not the champion of ONE. And he wasn’t the champion of the UFC. He’s not a champion any more, so my goal is set on champions. So, the only guy that interests me or that I’d be licking my chops at right now is Christian Lee. Anyone else, they can do whatever they want.”
With Alvarez fully focused on the quickest path to the belt, he’s not too keen on a trilogy fight with Shinya Aoki either.
The Japanese star is currently 5th in the ONE lightweight rankings and is the former champion.
Having lost to Aoki via first round submission in 2007, Alvarez tied the head-to-head at 1-1 with a first-round TKO in 2012. When Alvarez moved to ONE in 2018, many believed that a trilogy was bound to happen eventually.
“Of course,” said Alvarez. “I don’t care if it does. Just being totally honest. When Shinya beat me I was very young in my career. I was super young, I didn’t train jiu-jitsu much, I was still trying to knock everyone’s head off. I was not polished. I didn’t put my game together, so I evolved a ton since he beat me back in 2007. And I think the result when we rematched is pretty much going to be the result from now until the end of time. I feel like I put him away the same way. I don’t feel like there would be a different result to that fight, so I don’t really feel the need to fight him again or the want to fight him again unless it’s for a title.”
Alvarez was last matched up with #2 ranked Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev.
Despite being open to fighting the Russian, Alvarez admitted that he’s still hoping for a title shot against 22-year-old Lee instead.
“We’ve got to see if the promotion allows it,” Alvarez said. “He says he wants it. The promotion I don’t think wants that to happen. They want him to stay champion for a little longer. The promotion knows what I do to champions.”
Who do you think should be next for The Underground King?