After a year-long absence, Eddie Alvarez made his long-awaited returned to the Bellator cage last Saturday night (Nov. 2, 2013) at Bellator 106 to face Michael Chandler, the man who took Eddie's lightweight title two years ago, the last time Alvarez tasted defeat.
The return was indeed a successful one for "Silent Assassin," as he managed to get sweet revenge on Chandler, defeating him in another back-and-forth classic -- much to the Chagrin of Chandler -- earning a razor-thin split decision win on the judges' scorecards.
But what about Eddie's return to the company overall?
According to Eddie, it was business as usual, revealing on a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour" that the Bellator family welcomed him with open arms and gave him the treatment he had before the relationship went south.
For his part, the 155-pound kingpin says he has rid himself of all of the negativity and let go of all of the animosity long before stepping into the cage.
"I let all that stuff go, I let everything go. I said good luck to Mike before the fight. I said thank you to Bjorn before the fight. I let every ounce of anger, every ounce of animosity I had...I let it all go. I felt so good, man. I really felt like I was going to become champion again. My training, I just felt like more than anything I deserved it. Because me and my wife and my kids, we moved out of our house. We did so much. We sacrificed so much. So I just felt like if anything I deserved it. So if I didn't win, I would have been a little bummed out. I did a lot. I did a lot to get that title."
As far as his relationship with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, Alvarez says while it won't be the same as before, the important things is both men have a better line of communication. Something Alvarez says will be important moving forward.
"We spoke shortly, right after [the fight], basically like we got to sit down and talk and figure some things out. It hasn't been the best relationship. I can't lie. He can't lie either and say oh, yeah we're buddies we're pals because, we're not. Things aren't the way they used to be. More than anything, there has to be a better open line of communication and maybe things can be talked about."
And as far as the whole Bjorn shaking his head thing, Eddie doesn't put too much stock into it, saying Rebney could have been shaking his head for a bevy of reasons.
"People were twittering that he shook his head. I don't know if he was misinterpreted, I don't know if he shook his head because he really was upset. He didn't seem like he had been upset when I was there. He could have shook his head because of how crazy this sport is. I don't know why he shook his head. I don't know what that was about."
With the victory, Alvarez has now redeemed two of his three losses, defeating Shinya Aoki -- the man who submitted him at Dynamite! 2008 -- at Bellator 66 in 2012.
For Eddie, now that he's reclaimed his Bellator strap, the goal of becoming the No.1 lightweight in the world remains the same. But, is it one that is achievable if he finishes his career under the Bellator umbrella and not UFC's, a company rich in 155-pound talent?