Just a little over a year ago, Eddie Alvarez put his Bellator lightweight title on the line against Michael Chandler. In a fight that turned into a fight-of-the-year candidate, Chandler submitted Alvarez in the fourth round.
As soon as the fight was over, many were calling for a rematch between the new champ and Alvarez. Unfortunately, that was not to be.
Bjorn Rebney, the CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships, said that if Alvarez wanted another title shot at Chandler, he'd have to earn it by winning the next lightweight tournament.
Now, with an impending move to Spike TV, that will not be the case in the future. According to Rebney, "I am proud to announce that driven by your input; we will implement a championship fight rematch clause as we move into 2013 and our launch on Spike in January."
Could this be implemented as a way to draw back Alvarez to the promotion? Obviously he has had two fights since the loss, but it could be motivation in the future to come back.
The fact that this has been added to Bellator could change the whole dynamic of the promotion. Had this been initiated sooner, Alvarez would have had a rematch with Chandler and Jay Hieron would have likely had a rematch with Ben Askren, following the controversial split decision that Askren won.
Instead, Alvarez is a free agent who is considering several promotions and Hieron moved on to the UFC where he lost his return fight to Jake Ellenberger.
With this new championship rematch clause, champions may be more willing to take risks and put on even more exciting fights for the fans.
This is a very smart business move for Bellator, as rematches between Askren and Hieron and Alvarez and Chandler would be big money fights for the organization.
Now we just wait and see what happens with Bellator, Alvarez and the future title fights in the organization.
Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.