The highly-anticipated Bellator trilogy fight between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler will unfortunately have to wait. The lightweight champion Alvarez is out of the upcoming Bellator 120 event in Southaven, Mississippi because of a concussion suffered in training. Chandler will reportedly stay on the card to face Season 9 lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks.
This marks the second time that Bellator’s plans for their first pay-per-view event have taken a major hit because of injury. Back in November, Bellator 106 ended up free on Spike TV when Tito Ortiz sustained a neck injury that forced him out of his scheduled main event showdown against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Alvarez-Chandler 2 became the headliner in Long Beach, California and produced another memorable battle. Alvarez, in his first fight back after a bitter contract dispute with the promotion, reclaimed the title with a split-decision verdict after five bloody and gruelling rounds. It was Chandler’s first career loss.
Their first meeting back in 2011 saw Chandler win the title via fourth-round submission in a Fight of the Year candidate. In fact, the Alvarez-Chandler fights are likely the best two bouts in Bellator’s history and amongst the most exciting of any MMA rivalry.
The upcoming card will still feature a light heavyweight grudge match between Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Ortiz battling middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, who is making the move up in weight to face “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”
However, it’s clear that the marquee matchup on the card was Alvarez-Chandler 3, and Bellator officials have been dealt a serious setback with the champion’s withdrawal.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports