Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler have produced a pair of epic clashes and the talented lightweights are now set to headline Bellator’s first-ever PPV event when they have their trilogy fight on May 17. The news was delivered by CEO Bjorn Rebney who is expecting the two warriors to deliver yet another thriller. The rivalry has produced what many consider to be the best two fights in the history of the promotion.
Their first go-round was at Bellator 58 when the two fighters turned in one of the best bouts of 2011. Chandler was able to wrest the lightweight title from Alvarez with a fourth round submission victory in a sensational back and forth contest. The rematch took a while to put together and looked as though it would never happen after Alvarez became embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with the organization. In the end, the fences were finally mended and the rematch took place at Bellator 106 in California.
Again Chandler and Alvarez produced an instant classic as their styles seemingly can’t help but deliver plenty of excitement and drama. It was Alvarez getting his revenge and getting his belt back thanks to a close split decision victory after five brutal rounds that left both competitors battered and bloodied. It was Chandler’s first career defeat after successfully making a pair of previous title defenses against Rick Hawn and David Rickels.
It’s Chandler who has retribution on his mind heading into the trilogy bout saying the loss left him with a bitter taste in his mouth. The champion Alvarez believes he made the proper adjustments for the rematch and has come up with the blueprint to take care of his chief rival again when they clash in May.
There’s no denying that Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 as a PPV headliner will be better received than Bellator’s initial plan of having former UFC stars Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz headline last November’s pay-per-view. Of course those plans changed when Ortiz suffered a neck injury and the card was changed to a free event on Spike TV. The November 2 event featuring the rematch was a huge ratings success and now Bellator’s banking that the highly anticipated trilogy fight will make their pay-per-view debut a successful venture.
One things for certain, based upon their remarkable first two encounters, fans should be in for quite a treat when Alvarez and Chandler tangle in their rubber match. It’s bound to be another stellar, action-packed battle.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports