Eddie Alvarez at Dream 3 in Japan
After a spectacular run through the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament, Michael Chandler earned a world title shot. With victories over Polish prodigy Marcin Held, submission specialist Lloyd Woodard and explosive Brazilian Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, Chandler’s dream to become the next Bellator lightweight champion is a win away from becoming reality.
On Oct. 15, from the Boardwalk Hall Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J., Chandler will get his chance against reigning Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. The fight will air live on MTV2.
“Fighting this close to home on this big of stage is awesome,” said Alvarez. “I’ve never lost a fight in the States, and I certainly don’t plan on losing this one. I’ve never had this much time to prepare for a fight, and you’re going to see that preparation on display Oct. 15.”
Alvarez brings a near perfect record into the fight, as the Philadelphia native sports an incredible 22-2 professional record, with Bellator tournament wins over Greg Loughran, Eric Reynolds, and Toby Imada during his Season 1 Lightweight Tournament Championship run.
This won’t be Alvarez’s first title defense, as he successfully defended his title against current Featherweight Tournament Finalist Pat Curran at Bellator 39. The two engaged in a five-round battle that eventually ended with Alvarez securing a unanimous decision victory. Having time to scout the competition, Alvarez is more than ready to take on an eager Chandler.
“I watched the Lightweight Tournament very closely, and was really impressed with a lot of the competition,” Alvarez said. “Knowing that Chandler is my opponent, I’ve already gone back and started to watch film, and I’ll be ready. He brings a really good pace, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
Chandler, an undefeated product out of Xtreme Couture, looks to be one of the toughest tests that Alvarez has faced during his distinguished career. Only 25, Chandler brings an impressive wrestling pedigree with an improved striking game that was on display during his Bellator Lightweight Finals appearance against Patricky Pitbull at Bellator 44. Having studied Alvarez’s previous fights, Chandler already feels prepared for what faces him at Bellator 54.
“Eddie is obviously a world class lightweight, but in a lot of the fights I have watched, no one has really pushed the pace against him. I want to put him on his heels, and make him respond to what I’m doing in the cage. I’ve got a few months to prepare, and I’ll be more than ready for Oct. 15.”
“Anyone that has heard me speak on the topic knows I feel Eddie Alvarez is the best lightweight in the world,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “With that said, Michael’s tournament run was one of the most impressive displays I’ve seen from any fighter, and their title fight on Oct. 15 should be an absolute war. As a fan of the sport, this is a fight I can’t wait to see.”