One of the best rivalries in mixed martial arts (MMA) will be settled on May 17, 2014, live on pay-per-view (PPV) when Eddie Alvarez defends his lightweight title against Michael Chandler. Promotion head cheese Bjorn Rebney made the announcement at Bellator 110 (results) on Friday night.
A venue is expected to be revealed in the coming days.
The two have fought twice before, with Chandler defeating Alvarez at Bellator 58 to become the new lightweight champion. That bout was considered by most to be the best fight of 2011 (watch it again here).
Fans were nearly denied a second meeting, when Alvarez attempted to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A legal battle ensued and Bellator and its former champion appeared to be on the outs. Fortunately for all parties, they were able to reach an agreement and Alvarez re-signed with the promotion.
The rematch was originally scheduled to be the co-main event of Bellator's first attempt at PPV. "Attempt" is the qualifier as the card, Bellator 106, was instead aired free on Spike TV when Tito Ortiz was forced from his bout with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson due to injury.
Chandler and Alvarez were given top billing and saved a largely disappointing card (highlights). They stood in the pocket and traded punches for fight rounds, with both men left bloodied and exhausted. The judges saw the bout in Alvarez's favor, awarding him a split decision and the lightweight title.
Their rematch returned the highest Spike TV ratings in the history of the promotion (see them here) and now they get to settle their score for good.
So what say you Maniacs? Will you be ordering a Bellator PPV? Or is there just not enough room left in a very crowded PPV market?