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Tag: Michael Chandler

Watch Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez Watch Their First Fight on ‘Unfinished Business’

When Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and former champ Eddie Alvarez face off for the second time this Saturday at Bellator 106, they will be carrying a tremendous weight of expectations on their backs. Chandler/Alvarez 1 wasn’t simply a great fight, or just another a Fight of the Year candidate — it remains the greatest bout in Bellator promotional history, by a fairly wide margin. It was a rare double-comeback fight, in which both fighters found themselves close to the brink of defeat, and both managed to storm back from the abyss. Since then, Alvarez has endured an emotionally and financially harrowing legal battle just to get to the point where he could even compete again. His rematch with Chandler can’t just be a “fun fight.” Anything short of another instant classic would be a disappointment.

To help promote the upcoming battle, Spike TV released a half-hour documentary special called “Unfinished Business” that recaps the four-round war from Bellator 58, adding commentary from Chandler and Alvarez themselves, who talk us through the most pivotal moments. Plus, the fighters’ training partners and coaches weigh-in, along with appearances from a couple of UFC fighters who have likely been chewed out by Dana White for daring to appear in a “Viacom MMA” presentation. Anyway, the show is a must-watch for Bellator fans, especially if you somehow missed Mike and Eddie’s first fight two years ago. Enjoy.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Death Was the Best Outcome for Bellator’s Inaugural PPV


(MMA gets another PPV that never was)

When your dog is terminally ill, you put it down.

When the sales for your inaugural PPV are anemic, you should do the same.

Officially, Bellator canceled the PPV because Tito Ortiz withdrew from the main event bout versus Rampage Jackson, and not because of the PPV’s dubious chances of success. But the result is the same as if they had just canceled it outright: Bellator saves face.

Ortiz’s injury and the resulting cancellation of the PPV were a godsend for Bellator. Why? Let’s look at the most likely scenario for what could’ve happened if Bellator went on with their PPV — both if Ortiz had gotten injured and if he hadn’t.

Scenario 1, Ortiz doesn’t get injured and the PPV goes on:

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And So It Ends: Eddie Alvarez Settles With Bellator, Will Rematch Michael Chandler at November 2nd PPV


(As part of their co-promotional agreement with Viacom, Alvarez and Chandler will also appear in a tag-team match against the Nasty Boys. / Photo via Getty)

MMA’s most public and nasty legal battle since the UFC vs. Randy Couture has reached a thankful conclusion. MMAJunkie’s John Morgan breaks the news that former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has settled his contract dispute with Bellator, and will compete in a title-fight rematch against Michael Chandler at the promotion’s “Rampage vs. Otiz” pay-per-view, November 2nd at the Long Beach Arena.

Maybe it’s not the best-case scenario for Eddie, but at least he’ll be competing and earning money again, for the first time since last October. As he explained to MMAJunkie:

I couldn’t be happier right now. We’ve been trying to settle since the very beginning of this. [Ed. note: O RLY?] We were able to compromise and put it behind us. I’m happy to put my name on the dotted line and move forward with my career…I’m not big on problems. I normally just deal with solutions. In business, there are problems just like a relationship. There’s good, there’s bad, and there’s ugly. You need to be able to compromise and not deal with problems.”

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney wouldn’t disclose terms of the settlement, but stated that his promotion was able to find “a common ground” with Alvarez. Rebney also mentioned that there will be more big-name additions to the 11/2 card.

And so, Bellator’s first pay-per-view gets a pay-per-view-caliber fight, and Eddie Alvarez likely ends up with a new contract that was considerably better than his old one. (Competition is never a bad thing in the fight game.) But can Alvarez stay competitive in the rematch, after a year-long layoff? Check out video of Alvarez vs. Chandler 1 after the jump, and let us know what you think…

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Bellator 97 Videos + Results: Chandler Destroys Rickels, Askren Dominates Koreshkov in Far Less Entertaining Fashion


(Video via MMAJunkie)

Maybe one day there will be a Bellator lightweight contender who’s talented enough to defeat champion Michael Chandler — but it ain’t gonna be the dinosaur guy. (No offense.)  Season 8 lightweight tournament winner David Rickels had a good head of steam going into his title challenge against Chandler last night at Bellator 97, with four straight wins including a TKO of Saad Awad back in March. But against a truly world-class lightweight, the Caveman was in way over his head.

As you can see in the video above, Rickels didn’t even have a chance to get started. Chandler swarmed as soon as he staggered Rickels with a right straight, landing more follow-up power shots and diving after Rickels when the challenger hit the mat. In just 44 seconds, Rickels was unconscious and Michael Chandler (now 12-0 overall) had made his second title defense with another fearsome display of killer instinct.

Chandler’s next fight will likely come against Dave Jansen, the Season 7 lightweight tournament winner who hasn’t been able to face Chandler yet due to injury. Jansen is 6-0 in Bellator, and is clearly the most qualified man for the job. And yet, we can’t help but wonder how Chandler would stack up against some of the top 155′ers in the UFC — not like that would ever happen.

Speaking of dominant Bellator champions who could use a higher level of competition…

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FYI: Bellator 97 Goes Down Tonight Featuring Two Title Fights, King Mo

Just a heads up to you non Zuffa-zombies out there: Bellator 97′s preliminary card is already underway on Spike.com (“Come for the fights, stay to watch some drunk, gay club owner order his bartender to play Janet Jackson”). And at 7 p.m. EST, the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque will play host to one hell of a free card to cap off Bellator’s Summer Series. Featuring two title fights in Ben Askren (LET ME FINISH) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (welterweight) and Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels (lightweight) as well as the heavyweight and light heavyweight tournament finals, Bellator 97 is all but guaranteed to deliver its usual blend of carnage and controversy. It is truly the Grand Theft Auto of MMA promotions.

Of course, the main spotlight will be on that of King Mo Lawal, who faces Jacob Noe in the aforementioned LHW finals. On the heels of a brutal, retirement-inducing KO of Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 95, Mo is only a couple wins away from become the first ever light heavyweight and tag team champion in MMA/professional wrestling history. The time of legitimacy and mainstream acceptance is truly upon us, nation.

Bellator 97′s full lineup is after the jump.

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Michael Chandler vs. Dave Jansen Lightweight Title Fight Officially Booked for Bellator 96 in June


(“Don’t worry, Mo, we’re pretty sure your belt just got lost in the mail.”)

On the heels of his first successful title defense over Rick Hawn at Bellator 85, Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler has officially been booked to take on his next challenger at Bellator 96, which goes down from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma on June 19th.

Chandler will face grappling savant Dave “The Fugitive” Jansen, a 19-2 (6-0 Bellator) product out of Oregon who earned his shot at Chandler with a unanimous decision victory over Marcin Held at Bellator 93 in March.

Undefeated in his mixed martial arts career, Chandler has won eight straight fights under the Bellator banner, including victories over Akihiro Gono, Patricky Freire, and a 4th round submission over Eddie Alvarez in an absolute war back in November of 2011 that secured him the title.

Also set for the June 19th card will be a clash between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and UFC/EliteXC veteran Seth Petruzelli that will in no way draw comparisons to Petruzelli’s infamous knockout of Kimbo Slice, we assure you (ROCKY! ROCKY IS HERE!! THE MOST INCREDIBLE…VICTORY…IN THE HISTORY OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS!).

And barring any arrests, War Machine will be there too. Should be fun.

-J. Jones

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Bellator 85 Results: Chandler Dominates Hawn, Curran Sneaks by Pitbull, Babalu and Petruzelli Wash Out of LHW Tournament


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

If we needed any more proof that Michael Chandler deserves to be mentioned among the world’s best 155′ers, we got it last night at Bellator 85 in Irvine, California, when the reigning Bellator lightweight champion made decorated judoka Rick Hawn look like it was his first time on the mats. Chandler completed his takedowns with impressive ease, and when he saw an opportunity to take Hawn’s neck during a scramble in round two, he seized on it, sinking a rear-naked choke and showcasing the killer instinct that has now become a hallmark of Chandler’s game. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a fight, and this season’s lightweight tournament field doesn’t suggest that his next challenger will make things any harder for him. On the bright side, Chandler may have just established himself as Bellator’s greatest home-grown fighter — a budding superstar for the promotion’s new Spike TV era.

While Michael Chandler made his title defense with little resistance, reigning featherweight champion Pat Curran faced a much trickier test in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Their title fight (which led off the Spike TV broadcast) played out as a 25-minute kickboxing match, which started slow but built into an entertaining and evenly-pitched battle. Curran’s striking was just a little more active and accurate, however, and if you were judging on facial damage through the fight, Pitbull’s swollen-shut right eye and bloodied mouth didn’t exactly scream “winner.” When the scores were announced, “Judo” Gene LeBell saw it for the challenger, but the other two judges made the right call in awarding the win to the defending champ.

In addition to the two title fights, Bellator 85′s main card also featured a pair of light-heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. Unfortunately, those UFC castoffs we mentioned yesterday are well on their way to becoming Bellator castoffs as well, as Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Seth Petruzelli were steamrolled by their lesser-known competitors. Russian M-1 Challenge vet Mikhail Zayats stunned Sobral with a spinning-backfist near the end of the first round of their fight, then swarmed him to the canvas and fired down punches until the fight was stopped. (Eddie Alvarez’s wife called that shit, you guys.)

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Four Reasons Why You Should Watch Bellator’s Spike TV Debut Tonight


(Pat Curran, King Mo, and Michael Chandler — co-nominees in the “Best Kiss” category. / Photo via Getty Images)

Bellator’s eighth season kicks off tonight on Spike TV (10/9c), and now that the promotion has left Friday nights, you might even be thinking about watching the show. Here’s why that’s a good idea…

1. Michael Chandler is the second-greatest undefeated fighter in the world. Since winning Bellator’s lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in November 2011, Chandler has competed exactly once — a 56-second TKO of Akihiro Gono in a non-title mismatch last May. Now carrying a perfect record of 10-0, Chandler is once again facing a legit challenge in the form of Rick Hawn, the former Olympic judoka and Bellator mainstay who dropped down from welterweight last year and swept the Season 6 Lightweight Tournament.

2. Pat Curran is also an entertaining son-of-a-bitch. Undefeated at 145 pounds, Curran also competed just once last year, when he very nearly ended Joe Warren’s life to win Bellator’s featherweight title. We’ve been itching to see him back in the game, and he’ll be leading off tonight’s Spike broadcast with a belt-defense against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Speaking of guys who have been sidelined for a while, Pitbull hasn’t been in the cage since he won the Season Four Featherweight Tournament in 2011, partly due to a broken hand suffered in training last year.

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Contracts & Lawsuits – Eddie Alvarez, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Go Public With Conflicting Stories on Fighter’s Deal


(“Keep laughing, Eddie, because as soon as you lose that belt, your ass is mine.”) 

Former President Clinton once made infamous the phrase, “It depends on what your definition of the word ’is’ is,” while answering questions from the Independent Counsel’s office on the all-important subject of Monica Lewinsky. With former Bellator lightweight champion/UFC hopeful Eddie Alvarez and his boss, Bjorn Rebney, the discrepancy appears to depend on what one’s definition of the word “matched” is.

It has been no secret that the UFC wants Alvarez under their banner. The top lightweight fought the last fight under his Bellator contract last October but the promotion has the right to match any contract offered to Alvarez and thus keep him with them.

The UFC did indeed recently make an offer to Alvarez, but it is here where the stories from the former champ and the Bellator CEO begin to differ.

First, Alvarez sat down with The MMA Hour and claimed that Bellator had not matched the UFC’s proposed terms. Rebney then went on MMA Weekly Radio and said that his organization had, in fact, matched the UFC’s contract offer to Alvarez, point for point.

And then things got really awkward.

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Bellator Confirms Stacked Lineup for Jan. 17 Spike TV Premiere, Debut Date for King Mo and ‘Babalu’

Bellator’s first event on Spike TV will take place Thursday, January 17th, at the University of California’s Bren Center in Irvine, California, and will be headlined by a pair of title fights. The promotion confirmed the news today, revealing that undefeated phenom Michael Chandler will make his first official lightweight title defense at the event (aka Bellator 85) against Rick Hawn, the 14-1 Olympic judoka who won the Season 5 lightweight tournament earlier this year.

Also on the card, featherweight champion Pat Curran — who’s 4-0 since dropping to 145 and is coming off his near-murder of Joe Warren — will be putting his belt on the line against explosive contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Though Freire won all three of his fights in 2011, winning the Season 4 featherweight tournament, he wasn’t able to compete in 2012, partly due to injuries.

And that’s not all. During a Bellator/Spike TV conference call held earlier today, many more details about Bellator 85 and the promotion’s upcoming eighth season were announced. For instance…

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