Alvarez will put his title on the line against the unbeaten Chandler.
Bellator Lightweight Championship Being Held at AC’s Boardwalk Hall
The highly anticipated defense of the Bellator Lightweight Title by champion Eddie Alvarez (22-2) against Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner Michael Chandler (8-0) now has a date. The two highly skilled fighters will clash on October 15th, with the championship match taking place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Fighting this close to home on this big of a stage is awesome,” Alvarez stated. “I’ve never lost a fight in the States, and I certainly don’t plan on losing this one. I’ve never had this much time to prepare for a fight, and you’re going to see that preparation on display October 15th.”
The only two losses for Alvarez in his 24 professional fights came at the hands of Sinya Aoki in Japan and Nick Thompson in Russia. He is currently riding a seven-bout winning streak, and he has also won 12 of his last 13 matches. Alvarez is the only man to have ever held the Bellator Lightweight Championship, winning the inaugural Season 1 Tournament by the promotion in 2009. The Pennsylvania native is a collective 6-0 under the Bellator banner, and he has already successfully defended his belt against Season 2 Tournament winner Pat Curran.
Chandler was somewhat of an unknown to the mixed martial arts community prior to his Season 4 Tournament run, but he quickly established himself as one of the top prospects in the weight class after notching three impressive victories to win the season crown.
“I watched the Lightweight Tournament very closely and was really impressed with a lot of the competition,” Alvarez remarked. “Knowing that Chandler is my opponent, I’ve already gone back and started to watch film, and I’ll be ready. He brings a really good pace, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
Currently fighting out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Chandler wrestled in college alongside Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren and undefeated Strikeforce welterweight Tyron Woodley at the University of Missouri. Among the fighters with whom he now trains include Bellator welterweight Jay Hieron and UFC lightweight Gray Maynard. Chandler signed with Bellator in 2010 and easily stopped Scott Stapp and Chris Page in his first two matches with the promotion. He then defeated Marcin Held, Lloyd Woodard and Patricky Freire to emerge the victor in the latest Bellator Lightweight Tournament, which was held earlier this year.
“Eddie is obviously a world class lightweight, but in a lot of the fights I have watched, no one has really pushed the pace against him,” Chandler said. “I want to put him on his heels and make him respond to what I’m doing in the cage. I’ve got a few months to prepare, and I’ll be more than ready for October 15th.”
Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney also voiced his excitement about the championship pairing.
“Anyone that has heard me speak on the topic knows I feel Eddie Alvarez is the best lightweight in the world,” he commented. “With that said, Michael’s tournament run was one of the most impressive displays I’ve seen from any fighter, and their title fight on October 15th should be an absolute war. As a fan of the sport, this is a fight I can’t wait to see.”
Prior to the October event, Bellator will kick off its upcoming season on August 20th when Bellator 48 enters the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.