||08-15-2013 08:30 PM
Eddie Alvarez re-signs with Bellator, will rematch Michael Chandler on Bellator's PPV
Eddie Alvarez is a free man ... sort of.
Following a bitter contract dispute that lasted approximately eight months, Bellator announced on Tuesday that it had come to terms with Alvarez on a new contract that will see him rematch Michael Chandler for the Bellator lightweight title on Nov. 2.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
The bout will serve as the co-main event of Bellator's inaugural pay-per-view, headlined by Quinton Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, Calif.
Last week, MMAFighting.com reported that Alvarez's management was hopeful a settlement could be reached with Bellator, especially considering the fact that the two sides had been mired in a lawsuit, which had a pretrial conference date set for no earlier than Sept. 15, 2014.
Alvarez (24-3) last fought at Bellator 76 in Oct. 2012 when he defeated Patricky Freire via first-round knockout. That was the final fight on his Bellator contract.
Alvarez later signed an eight-fight contract with the UFC, however, Bellator invoked their existing matching rights, which eventually led to dueling lawsuits by both sides after Alvarez's camp concluded Bellator's offer didn't exactly match the UFC's offer.
"I still lose sleep over my loss to Chandler, and I want it off my record," Alvarez stated in a press release. "This was a long process, but at the end of the day Iím back with Bellator and Iím 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 Iím ready to get my belt back on November 2nd."
Chandler (12-0) has become the face of Bellator since defeating Alvarez in Nov. 2011 via fourth-round submission. He most recently defeated David Rickels earlier this month via first-round knockout in just 44 seconds.
"Without sounding too disrespectful, when I fought Eddie the first time in 2011, I didnít even know what it meant to be an MMA fighter," Chandler said. "Two years later, Iíve grown so much as a mixed martial artist, and there isnít a doubt in my mind on November 2nd, my hand will be raised and the belt will be around my waist. I have full confidence that I can take this fight wherever I want, whenever I want because I didnít even show much of my wrestling in that last fight and I was able to beat him just with my standup. My ground game has always been there, and Iíve taken my striking to a whole new level since the last time we met. I feel like I have more experience under my belt, Iím wiser, stronger, and have had so much time in the gym trying to become the best fighter I can be."
The first Alvarez vs. Chandler fight is considered by most to be the best fight in Bellator's four-year history.
The rest of the Bellator pay-per-view card is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
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