Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler are evenly matched, folks.
In their first fight at Bellator 58, each man nearly ended the fight on several occasions, and their rematch Saturday evening at Bellator 106 featured a similarly back-and-forth affair.
While Chandler eventually secured a rear-naked choke in Round 4 of their first encounter, it was the challenger, Alvarez, who took home a split-decision victory in the rematch.
Did he deserve it?
Let's check out the CompuStrike numbers.
|Total Strikes Landed/Percentage||Power Strikes Landed||Non-Power Strikes Landed|
Where striking is concerned, this fight was very close.
Alvarez holds a small advantage in terms of total strikes landed, but each man landed at the same rate, and Chandler held an advantage in power shots, an area which judges usually weigh more heavily.
Really, there is nothing definitive to draw from these statistics. They simply restate the fact that this fight was closely contested on the feet.
|Fighter||Takedowns||Takedown Percentage||Ground Strikes/Percentage||Dominant Positions/Submission Attempts|
|Chandler||10||48 percent||61/92 percent||One/Two|
This is where things get interesting.
The fight's most significant disparity is seen in the takedown department.
Chandler finished 10 takedowns to Alvarez's zero, but Chandler also attempted 21 to Alavrez's three.
When you consider this, Alvarez's takedown defense is quite impressive. He nullified more attempts than not, an impressive feat considering Chandler's stellar wrestling thus far in his career.
In addition, Alvarez secured more dominant positions in the fight and came close to finishing the champ with a rear-naked choke in Round 5.
So who held the advantage?
That depends. Do you value takedowns or takedown defense? Is it more impressive that Chandler completed 10 takedowns or that Alvarez defended 11?
Usually, successful takedowns take precedent over takedown defenses, but it appears the judges in this one were swayed a bit by Alvarez's takedown defense.
This fight could have gone either way.
One cannot reasonably call it a "robbery," but one can also make a case for Chandler through his takedowns and efficient, powerful ground striking.
Personally, I'm fine with an Alvarez split-decision victory.
The fact that the decision was split and that all judges saw the contest 48-47 is perfect, regardless of the victor. That alone demonstrates that they all saw an incredibly close fight, and the official statistics corroborate this notion.
To say either fighter got "ripped off" is irresponsible. This was a close contest between two exceptional fighters, and Alvarez's win was well earned and justifiable.
Bring on the third installment, please.