In what many fans and pundits believed was the real main event all along for tonight’s Bellator 106 card, Eddie Alvarez will look to end the reign of lightweight champion Michael Chandler, which began approximately two years ago. Of course, on November 19th, 2011, Chandler shocked the MMA world by submitting Alvarez in the fourth round, in what was one of, if not the year’s best scrap.
At the time, Alvarez hadn’t lost in three years and was on a seven fight winning streak, which included victories over Roger Huerta and Pat Curran. While speaking at an open workout this week to promote Bellator 106, here’s some of what Alvarez had to say about the mindset he had heading into Bellator 58, and how it’s different now (comments via MMA Junkie.com).
“Everything is going to be different,” Alvarez said. “The first time I fought Chandler, I needed money. I was thinking about money way too much. I was thinking about my contract. My focus was way off. Not only was it way off, I didn’t believe in the people that were guiding me, so I felt like all my decisions in the fight were on me, and it became overwhelming. It was important for me to get better guidance, better coaches to show me the way. That’s why I moved to Florida, and man, it’s been mind-blowing.
“I’m completely different. I’m a changed man, and you guys will see it. I don’t need to say it any longer, or beating your ears about it or sell it to you guys. You’ll see it in a few days.”
Of course, there’s no question that both men have improved their skills since their initial meeting, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out tonight. Since Bellator 58, Chandler’s gone on to become one the world’s top 155érs, and as a result, he’s not the underdog heading into the bout. Case in point, the betting lines have Chandler as the favourite in the -200 to -350 range. We’ll find out soon just how accurate of a call that is.
Bellator 106 will be hosted by the Long Beach Convention Center and will be broadcast live on SPIKE.
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