When the ink dried on Bellator 106 from Long Beach, California, lightweight champion Michael Chandler and rival Eddie Alvarez had put on another war for the ages. Their rematch was a back-and-forth war that left both fighters bloodied and battered.
Both fighters also showed extreme amount heart in the bout. Alvarez utilized a crisp jab throughout to close Chandler’s eye shut. He landed a mixture of power punches that turned the Bellator cage into a sea of blood.
For his efforts, Chandler was a true champion with his top-level wrestling and many attempts at a rear naked choke. Chandler nearly finished Alvarez in the fourth round with a huge flying knee that opened the door for him to lay down a ton of ground and pound. Alvarez was gassed and in deep water, but recovered to take the fifth round with some dominant grappling of his own.
Revenge couldn’t be sweeter for Alvarez, who returns from a year-long layoff to participate in yet another classic. This time he was on the winning side of things, however. And with the result, Bellator 106 ended with a rousing success. The main event was much more than anything that hobbled former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz could have put forth.
There’s not a whole lot of doubt that Alvarez and Chandler are two of the finest lightweight mixed martial artists in the world, and that includes the deeply talented UFC 155-pound division. When Alvarez and Chandler lock horns in the cage, bouts that can’t be called anything but classic ensue. Chandler will have to go back to the drawing board with his first-ever loss, but he won’t lose too much momentum.
The fight could have easily gone his way, and many actually gave him three rounds. It was the closest of decisions. Bellator thought it had momentum building with its first pay-per-view, but when Bellator 106 was relegated to Spike TV nothing was lost.
In fact, the fans saw a feature of Bellator’s homegrown talent that blew the roof off the Long Beach Arena. Rampage vs. Ortiz simply just couldn’t compare. There’s no chance that Ortiz’ tattered neck could deliver a half of knockdown, drag-out bout like Alvarez vs. Chandler II.
If the evidence wasn’t there for Bellator to lend all of its focus to homegrown talent before tonight’s event, it certainly is now. Let us know your thoughts about Bellator 106’s epic rematch below.