Eddie Alvarez has had a pretty rough year, the former Bellator Lightweight champ has been inactive and embroiled in a nasty legal battle with his employers. It originally looked like Alvarez was headed to the UFC following his TKO win over Patricky Freire at Bellator 76, but it didn’t quite work out that way.
Bellator did the mature thing, saying ‘If we can’t have you no-one can’ as they stomped their feet. Alvarez was restricted by a disputed contract and unable to fight since October 2012. At one point even homeless, Alvarez decided to be the bigger man and finish out his Bellator service.
Alvarez was on hand to talk to MMAFighting.com, regarding his last year of legal/personal woes:
‘It taught me the court system, in general, is no way to settle anything. Normally, if you want to settle something, the best way to do it is sit down as men and talk, continue to keep an open line of communication and continue to talk, regardless of your differences.’
‘But, 100 percent, the court system is no way to settle your differences. Unless you got a lot of time and a lot of money on your hands, going that route is no way to go. No, I don't regret any of it. It was necessary. I don't regret any of it.’
The past year may have rubbed off positively for Alvarez, if he can keep his mind ahead and look at all the unfortunate events in a good light. EA then spoke about his opponent at BFC 106, Michael Chandler:
“I feel like I'm a better striker. I feel like I'm better at jiu-jitsu. People may laugh at that because I did get choked, but I got caught in the fourth round, which jiu-jitsu doesn't play too much of a factor. I feel like I have better jiu-jitsu, better striking. Just a better all around game. It's really just up to me to go out there and show it, but in my own opinion, I feel like I'm better than Mike altogether. Nov. 2nd, it's time to show it.”
Chandler famously beat Alvarez at Bellator 58, in a fight of the year match up. Choking his man out in the fourth stanza after an incredibly entertaining scrap. Alvarez will need to have put in a lot of preparation, mental and physical, ahead of this one.
‘From my eyes, I'm sure in the gym, he's been training, getting better, working on some things. But I've been in this sport for 11 years. I know it's very slow moving. You don't evolve overnight. It takes years just to maybe get confident enough in a move or technique to use it in a live fight situation.’
‘It's not going to be too much different except myself, you're going to see a huge difference in myself, in my spirit, in my conditioning, and everything else. Mike, the truth is we haven't got a whole lot of minutes of him in the cage. Can't really tell how much he's evolved or hasn't, but I'm counting on that he's evolved and he's a better guy on Nov. 2nd.’
I’m very excited ahead of this bout, and if the fight is anywhere near as good as the first I’ll be more than happy. Anyone (apart from me) think Alvarez has what it takes to regain his crown?