This past Sat., Nov. 19, 2011, Bellator 58 held serve to a lightweight championship main event pitting Eddie Alvarez against Michael Chandler in what turned out to be a thrilling, back-and-forth war of attrition that many are calling the "Fight of the Year."
SI.com caught up with Chandler to get his take on the epic bout:
"It was the first time I've felt pain during a fight. Thankfully the adrenaline kicked in and I went into the mode where I knew I'd be swollen and bruised anyway the next day, so why not go for it?"
And go for it he did. In the fourth round, Chandler rocked Alvarez before following him to the floor and eventually sinking in a deep rear-naked choke to finish the fight via submission.
For his part, Alvarez said he was influenced to fight the way he did thanks to a piece of advice that changed everything:
(Bellator's cutman) told me I had to go out there and knock him out because the doctor was going to stop it. This sort of f-ed up my mentality and made me feel a little desperate. ... A lot of fighters have said they're going to get in my face, but they don't. I didn't expect Mike to come out as aggressively as he did. He got me good, too."
For those of you that watched the fight, there's no doubting it was one of the best of the year, a real treat for mixed martial arts fans. For those that didn't, you're in luck. You can check it out, in its entirety, after the jump.
And be sure to click here for all the Bellator 58 results and fight coverage.