Bellator 106: ‘Chandler vs Alvarez 2’ recap – Night of the Underdogs

AlvarezWhen Bellator 106 ended last night (Nov. 2, 2013), there were three new champions crowned, and the company took a nice step forward in terms of competition. In the final accounting, Eddie Alvarez had taken back his Lightweight belt from Michael Chandler, Daniel Straus had upended Featherweight belt-holder Pat Curran and Emanuel Newton outlasted King Mo Lawal to gather in the Light Heavyweight title. All three winners were underdogs, which might have made it a nice betting night for some! Newton, who had earned a spinning back fist knockout victory over King Mo in their first encounter, fought a gritty fight where he took everything that Mo had to offer and gave it back in spades. Lawal, who had promised something explosive, labeling their first encounter a fluke, could only get Newton down in the early going, and he did no damage. Newton made him work every step of the way. Newton was a more than 4 to 1 underdog, and he has now earned a rematch with Atilla Vegh to unify the belts. The hardworking Newton came in more fit than ever, and at this point it is clear that Bellator overspent on Lawal, who has a lot of potential but already talks and acts like a veteran star. Lawal is now left at a career crossroads, he has to put up and shut up. In the featherweight title fight, Daniel Straus came with a full gas tank and world class speed and athleticism to outwork champion Pat Curran. Curran was up early in the fight, until he hit Straus with a low blow that cost him a point. After the rest period for Straus to recover, Curran seemed to unravel while a recovered Straus came on strong. The fight was his from there, as he got solid takedowns and applied constant pressure in the stand-up. The night closed with the second encounter between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, and the match lived up to every bit of the hype. The opening three rounds saw the two men go back and forth, and were likely scored differently by the judges. Alvarez seemed confident in his stand-up, and he began to mark up Chandler’s face in the early going, but Chandler got the takedowns and pressured with a rear naked choke attempt. Chandler also seemed to catch Alvarez a couple of time with punches from inside the pocket. Chandler ran away with the fourth round, taking Alvarez’ back and busting him up. Alvarez spent three minutes under the full pressure of Chandler in round four, and came back to decisively finish strong by taking round five. In the end, Alvarez pulled home the split decision, paying out better than (+200) at the books. Alvarez vs. Chandler III seems like an almost certainty, as Bellator would be stupid not to do it. With this performance, perhaps an imported main event like they were trying with Ortiz-Rampage isn’t necessary, they have stars in Alvarez and Chandler.

Written by Miguel

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