The main event for this Saturday night’s Bellator 106 event is a rematch for the Bellator lightweight championship between titleholder Michael Chandler and the man he took the belt from, Eddie Alvarez. The current betting line for the match at 5 Dimes Sportsbook lists Chandler as a -225 favorite (bet $225 to win $100) and Alvarez as a +185 dog (bet $100 to win $185). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened Chandler as a -300 favorite and Alvarez asa +200 underdog, meaning that the early action is on the former champion Alvarez. As much as I am a fan of Alvarez, I think this early money is going in the wrong direction as I am picking Chandler to once again defeat Alvarez and retain his belt. Here’s why. It was nearly two years ago when Chandler and Alvarez first met at Bellator 58, and the two went to put on the best fight in Bellator history with Chandler winning the fight in the fourth round by submission (rear-naked choke). Although Chandler entered that fight as the underdog, he ended up winning it, and while Alvarez had his moments throughout the fight it was clear that Chandler was the better man that night and he’s shown since then it wasn’t a fluke. Since the Alvarez fight, Chandler has ran through Akihiro Gono, Rick Hawn, and David Rickels with ease. Are those the best fighters the lightweight division offers? No. But two of those guys won eight-man Bellator tournaments and Gono is a tough veteran, and Chandler smashed them all. As for Alvarez, since the fight with Chandler he’s destroyed Shinya Aoki and Patricky Pitbull, but he’s also been involved in a messy legal battle in courts with the UFC and Bellator. He hasn’t fought in over a year now due to a contract dispute and although Alvarez is still, in my eyes, one of the top fighters in the world, you have to wonder how much being out a year dealing with a legal battle has distracted him from Chandler. Still, you can never count Alvarez out — the guy was the long-time Bellator lightweight champion for a reason, and he’s still on the right side of 30. But there’s so much going against him leading up to this fight that I really can’t pick him to win it even if my heart says he has a chance to pull off the upset. Perhaps the best thing you could do is not bet this fight at all and just watch it as a fan, as I expect it to be action packed for as long as it lasts. But we’re gamblers, and I when I see a fighter on the board at -225 that I feel could be a hundred cents higher, I have to recommend a play on Chandler to come through here for the victory. Also keep in mind that there will be props offered for this fight, so keep an eye out for Chandler wins inside the distance, as if he wins I expect it to come within five rounds. In that sense, also keep an eye out for the UNDER total, because there is no way this fight makes it to the final bell. There’s going to be a finish in this one and it’s going to be awesome. And I can’t wait for Saturday to see it.