Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez produce the greatest fights together.
Their first fight at Bellator 58 is widely considered one of the greatest bouts in MMA history, and the rematch at Bellator 106 Saturday evening all but surpassed this previous standard of excellence.
In addition to piles of back-and-forth, frenetic action, Chandler vs. Alvarez II featured something the first bout lacked: a controversial finish.
While each fighter nearly ended the fight on separate occasions via rear-naked choke, neither could secure the submission, and judges were forced to make a tough call after five rounds of violent perfection.
The decision was split.
...And it went to Alvarez.
We have a new Bellator lightweight champion, ladies and gentlemen.
Watching the fight live, I'm not 100 percent sure that Alvarez deserved the nod, but I am sure that we all witnessed another fantastic fight which represented all that is incredible about the sport of MMA.
Chandler and Alvarez are far ahead of the rest of Bellator's 155-pound division, and they appear headed for a trilogy after this close rematch, which is the ideal result for the promotion and its fans.
This reminds me of the rivalry between UFC heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, except it is much more evenly matched and competitive.
While Alvarez is the new champion, there is no doubt that Chandler is an immediate threat to his reign. I'm not sure we can say that about any other fighter on Bellator's roster, so it is fitting that they settle the score in a future rubber match.
If their first two fights provide any indication, that is a beautiful, beautiful fact for MMA fans across the globe.
Can we go ahead and kick off Rounds 11 to 15 now, please?
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