Why Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler Highlights Bellator’s Shortcomings

If you were watching Bellator last night you know just how strange of an event it really was. For the most part, the event was unwatchable, with lots of dull fights, stale match making and really showcased the gap in talent between Bellator and the UFC. I find it hard to fault the fighters, as some are working their way up and others are on their way down, but Bellator is not really a place for fighters in their prime, it seems. That is, until Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler stepped into the cage together.

It was one of those big, transformative moments where a show went from a complete waste of time to making you not only happy to have tuned in but happy to be a fan as well. Most of my night was spent switching back to HBO and watching the GGG fight while cursing at Bellator for existing. Bellator has been the butt of a lot of jokes over the past few weeks and for a good reason — they decided to enter the PPV market with a card that was so weak that when the main event fell apart they decided to give up on the PPV dream for now.

In all honesty, it was the right move for Bellator to not put this event on PPV, because not enough eyes would have been on Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. In fact, it might have been beneficial for the organization for such a great fight to go down on free TV on a night that was otherwise without a lot of other big sporting distractions. Chances are that more people saw this fight than would have before and that more people will be looking for a rematch between the two or even watch Bellator more often.

Of course, the look on Bjorn Rebney’s face and his reaction to the press has been anything but happy. Eddie Alvarez winning and being involved with the promotion’s best fight only puts the organization in a tough spot and makes Rebney look worse. The details of Alvarez’s contract leaked out over the summer stating that Alvarez had two fights on his contract; if he lost to Chandler he was an unrestricted free agent, if he won, he had to give Chandler a rematch and then win, lose or draw he is a free agent again.

Rebney and Bellator are now facing a reality where Alvarez could win the rubber match and leave the organization as their champion, making them look bad. This whole situation just highlights how loopy Bellator really is. Should one of the best, if not the best fight of the year happening in your organization be a bad thing? Never. Should people talking positively about your organization after laughing at it and belittling it for years feel this bad? Of course not. Yet, here Bellator and Rebney are.