It will be almost two years since Eddie Alvarez (24-3) lost his belt to Michael Chandler (12-0) in a title losing effort that was dubbed by many, the fight of the year. Now, the two premier lightweights in Bellator’s ranks and two of the best in the world will finally have their rematch.
The bout is scheduled for the co-main event slot of Bellator’s first foray in to the PPV market. The main event of that card features two former UFC light-heavyweight champions in Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz.
As for the dispute that has kept burning since Alvarez’s contract expired last October, it seems to have been mended, opening the door for the rematch, a move that seems to satisfy Alvarez, according to what he told USA Today Sports:
“I couldn’t be happier right now, Alvarez said. “We’ve been trying to settle since the very beginning of this. We were able to compromise and put it behind us. I’m happy to put my name on the dotted line and move forward with my career.”
Alvarez and Bellator MMA both filed lawsuits against one another as Alvarez was offered a matching deal by the leading MMA promoter, UFC, an offer which Bellator claims to have countered.
Either way, Alvarez has signed a new deal with Bellator MMA and looks to regain his title in the coming months.
His opponent, Michael Chandler, stated to ESPN that he believes that the rematch will ultimately be the selling point on the November card, bolstering sales to support a main event that has less of a back story behind it:
“I think the true-blue MMA fans will see this one, even though it’s the co-main event, and think it’s definitely as interesting if not more than Tito-Rampage,” said Chandler
As for Bellator Chairman and CEO, Bjorn Rebney, he shares a mutual sense of pride in re-signing Alvarez and for booking a highly anticipated rematch:
“Honestly, this is a business, and Ed’s a world-class fighter. I’m in the business of putting on world-class fights, so that’s honestly the story.” Rebney stated.
The fallout between contract negotiations apparently was rooted in a convoluted set of relationships between Bellator and its partners. An anomaly like this is caused when you have a vast amount of responsibility towards several different parties, occasionally leaving one of them out to dry:
“When you run a business like this one, there are going to be situations that occur where you have conflict,” he said. “When you’ve got 175-plus fighters under contract, when you’ve got large-scale relationships with nearly 130 television networks around the world, when you’ve got sponsors, you’ve got licensees and you’ve got all these other people in place, it’s just the nature of this industry and many others. You’re going to run into conflict.
“I think that when you have a position and you believe that position to be right, you stick to it. But at the same time, like I’ve said from the beginning of this, we were never taking a position where we weren’t willing to settle, and we were always looking for a way to put that rematch on. We’ve done it”, Rebney continued to USA Today Sports.
There is yet to be a confirmed price for the November 2nd PPV but between the polarizing main event, the addition of this co-main event, and a promised line up of world-class talent, the Bellator PPV may just pull off a serviceable first attempt at a PPV event.
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