Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler went the distance this time, and Alvarez came out on top, re-claiming the Bellator lightweight title at Bellator 106 Saturday evening.
After succumbing to a fourth round rear-naked choke in the first encounter, Alvarez pulled out the split decision victory this time.
“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 was booed by the Long Beach Arena after the scores were read, but he didn’t care, leaping on top of the cage fence and embracing his wife after the hard-fought 25-minute battle.
Since losing to Chandler, Alvarez has endeared more trouble outside the cage than inside it. His contract with Bellator expired, and the company seemed to be ready to move on without him. However, after receiving an offer from the UFC, Bellator matched and a lengthy legal battle ensued.
Eventually, Alvarez signed back with Bellator and is now the champion. He will likely face Chandler for a third time in 2014.
“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.”