Bellator has always held true to its tournament format. Unlike the UFC the tournament insures that the fighter who is challenging for the title is always the most deserving, having to make it through a gauntlet of fighters to earn their right. Unfortunately, this format does have its draw backs. Not only does it lead to long layoffs for champions between challengers, but it does not help when there is a close match. Say that Bellator had a very close match like the first title match between Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar they could not allow a title rematch despite the match being very close. Well, it looks like times are changing.
Bjorn Rebney has announced that Bellator now has a rematch clause for championship bouts. Champions and challengers alike are now able to rematch if the fight was close or even if it was very exciting. So, while Eddie Alvarez lost his title decisively by TKO he would not have to go back through the tournament to challenge for the title again. Due to the compelling nature of their fight Alvarez could get his rematch. This change would also allow more matches for champions between tournaments, depending on how their fights turn out.
The reason for this change in unknown, but we can always speculate. It looks like Bellator may be changing policy for two reasons. First, a match between tournament winner Jay Hieron and Ben Askren took place and the outcome was very controversial since Askren took a very close decision. Many opined for a rematch, but due to the format it was not allowed. Hieron left the organization due to that fact, and Alvarez’s impending departure is also hastened by his unwillingness to re-enter the tournament format. Could more changes be coming for the organization as their fighter press to leave?