Eddie Alvarez went the distance Saturday night, handing Michael Chandler his first career loss and re-claiming the Bellator lightweight title at Bellator 106.
Chandler had previously defeated Alvarez via submission, and the two went their separate ways for a while. However, most felt a rematch would eventually happen – and it lived up to the hype.
“It takes two people to put on a fight like that,” Alvarez said. “We did it together; that was the fight of the year.”
Alvarez seemed unsure of the outcome after the first score was read for Chandler. Once he heard his name for the final two, though, he jumped to the top of the cage and celebrated with his wife.
“I had a feeling in my gut I would be the new lightweight champion,” Alvarez said. “I want to thank everyone who supported me through this.”
At one time, it appeared as if Alvarez would be leaving Bellator for the UFC after his contract expired. Instead, the two sides went to the courts before the fighter finally decided to return and seek his title again.
Chandler was on the opposite end of the spectrum, seemingly still in shock by the decision. His left eye was nearly swollen shut and he suffered some deep cuts to his face.
“It’s just another fight,” he said. “I’ll go back to the drawing board.”