Alvarez wants a rematch with Michael
Chandler, and the Bellator lightweight champion says he’ll get
it eventually if he re-signs with the promotion.
“Eddie and I did put on a great fight,” Chandler told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “It’s definitely [a fight]
the fans want to see, so there’s no doubt that it will happen
again. A rematch will happen if Eddie stays with Bellator.”
Alvarez has one fight left on his Bellator contract. He has asked
for another crack at Chandler, who took his lightweight title last
November via rear-naked choke in the fourth round. The fight was a
barnburner, but a rematch doesn’t look likely, at least not anytime
According to Alvarez, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told the former
champ he will have to win another tournament to get a shot at
Chandler’s title. Alvarez isn’t interested in that route, though.
If he can’t fight Chandler next, he wants to start negotiations and
either re-sign with Bellator or move on to another promotion.
For his part, Chandler is game for a rematch but doesn’t sound
especially eager for it to happen.
“The biggest thing about rematches is, for the guy who wins, it
doesn’t necessarily do much for your career,” Chandler said. “Right
now obviously there’s criticism on both ends of it. There’s people
that are going to say I definitely beat Eddie decisively. There’s a
lot of people who say I got lucky and I’d lose nine times out of
10. It’s one of those things where you’re kind of dealing with that
kind of stuff and the fans and whatever, but it doesn’t necessarily
do anything for my career. Beating him once is enough, but at the
end of the day, we are an entertainment sport and our job as
fighters is to train our butts off so we can be aggressive and put
on great fights.”
The first Alvarez-Chandler fight was a great one. Whether a rematch
will happen remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Chandler will
be back in the cage Friday against Akihiro Gono
at Bellator 67. His title won’t be on the line against the veteran
Japanese fighter, who hasn’t won since March 2010.
“I’m definitely not underestimating him or any of that kind of
stuff,” Chandler said. “I know this is mixed martial arts. There’s
a thousand ways to lose. You’ve got to be prepared for everything,
and I have trained every area that I need to for this fight. But
yeah, he’s not on the level Eddie was, but at the same time, he’s
still a man and he’s still training every single day to beat me.
I’ve got to take it as serious as I possibly can. I’m just looking
forward to getting back in the cage and putting on a show and
getting another win just to keep this thing rolling.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 57:23).