After a long, drawn-out battle that was seemingly heading nowhere while keeping one of the world’s most talented lightweights on the shelf, former Bellator FC champion Eddie Alvarez has re-signed with the promotion. In addition, he’ll face Michael Chandler, the man who took the belt from him two years ago, at the promotion’s inaugural pay-per-view event this November 2nd.
The announcement comes as great news for Alvarez fans, who were wondering if his ugly contract dispute would ever be resolved. Alvarez was reportedly granted his early release from Bellator, but the tune soon changed when talk of him going to the UFC for a fight against Benson Henderson materialized. Alvarez was set to make a huge cut of the PPV if that event hit a certain number of buys, and that apparently lead to huge scrap over the legalities of Bellator matching the contract.
Fortunately, none of those terms are going to matter anymore, and Alvarez will finally be back doing what he does best. In his absence, however, Chandler has developed into one of the finest lightweights on the planet, last seen destroying David Rickels with a first round flurry that left many with their jaws gaping.
It’s going to be an incredibly tough return bout for Alvarez, as it’s difficult to truly gauge where his training level is at after such a long layoff. But he was also in incredible shape, and is most likely chomping at the bit to not only fight, but to avenge his loss to Chandler, who beat with a rear naked choke in November of 2011. That fight was arguably the best bout of the year. Alvarez established his excitement in today’s press release:
“I still lose sleep over my loss to Chandler, and I want it off my record. This was a long process, but at the end of the day, I’m back with Bellator and I’m happy to get back in the cage. I really believe everything happens for a reason, and at the end of the day, my family and I are happy, and I’m ready to get my belt back on November 2.”
Alvarez came back with two impressive knockout victories over Patricky Freire and Shinya Aoki, and looked to have a ton of momentum on his side before the contract dispute arose. Now, he’ll return to face off with his toughest opponent. It’s a great fight, and one that has a lot more relevance that the headliner of Bellator’s first PPV, Rampage Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz.
Can Eddie Alvarez shake off the cobwebs to exact vengeance on the man that now carries his coveted title belt?