No hard feelings!
After a long and messy legal battle, former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has re-signed with Bellator MMA for an additional eight bouts and will make his return fight against Michael Chandler in their 155-pound championship rematch scheduled for the promotion's "Rampage vs. Tito" pay-per-view (PPV) on Nov. 2, 2013 at the Long Beach Arena in California.
Alvarez (24-3) lost his division crown in his epic "Fight of the Year" candidate against Chandler (12-0) back in late 2011. He was able to get himself right back into the title picture by rebounding with back-to-back wins (and back-to-back finishes) over Shinya Aoki and Patricky Freire.
All he needed was a new contract.
Unfortunately, he got one. Two, actually, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tried to scoop up the Philadelphia native, but was cock-blocked by Bellator, who exercised its right to match and kept Alvarez from leaving. That's when things got ugly and landed in court.
With neither side getting a clear advantage (find out why here).
While Bellator was plying its trade on Spike TV after being acquired by Viacom, the promotion's legal eagles insisted they had a PPV ready and waiting for Alvarez, effectively matching what UFC could do in terms of contract stipulations. At the time, it sounded like nothing more than a courtroom tactic.
Then came this big announcement.
From a fan's perspective, all's well that ends well. Sure, we won't know (yet) whether or not Alvarez can hang inside the Octagon, where some of the world's best 155-pounders ply their trade, but even if he went to the other side, he would still have that cloud hanging over his head.
One he intends to be rid of once and for all.
"I still lose sleep over my loss to Chandler, and I want it off my record," Alvarez said in today's release. "This was a long process, but at the end of the day, I'm back with Bellator and I'm happy to get back in the cage. I really believe everything happens for a reason, and at the end of the day, my family and I are happy, and I'm ready to get my belt back on November 2."
Chandler, 3-0 since they last met, will be waiting.