Chandler stuns Alvarez to win Bellator title
Michael Chandler was set to headline Bellator 120 but an injury to opponent Eddie Alvarez changed everything. (Eric Coleman/Bellator/CP)
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November 21, 2011, 2:25 AM
Bellator Fighting Championships
CHICAGO — In one of the best fights the Bellator cage has ever hosted, undefeated lightweight Michael Chandler fulfilled his dream of becoming a world champion at Bellator 58 with a fourth round submission victory over the reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez on Saturday.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was in a frenzy as Alvarez set out to defend his Bellator title since capturing the belt in Belltaor’s first season. In his first title defense, his superior boxing led to a five round decision win over the last tournament champion, Pat Curran, but this time his opponent wouldn’t stop moving forward. Alvarez was able to fend off Chandler’s takedown attempts, but Chandler connected with too many power punches and had Alvarez on the fence multiple times.
In the fourth round, one of Chandler’s powerful punches stunned Alvarez and dropped the Lightweight Champion to the mat, where Chandler was able to gain full mount with a knee to belly pass. He poured the pressure on Alvarez and forced him to turn over where he sunk in a rear naked choke and forced a tap almost immediately. Chandler was awarded the win, and more importantly the Bellator Lightweight Championship.
“Chandler vs. Alvarez was quite simply the best mixed martial arts fight I have ever seen,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “After having watched over 1,000 fights since the early 1990s, I’ve never seen a better back and forth battle. Chandler’s win over Alvarez is a win over a fighter who I believed was the best lightweight in the world, while at the same time is a testament to what Bellator is all about. Aguilar vs. Ellis was a tremendous battle, and speaks to the great quality that exists in the women’s MMA game, and a quality that we will continue to support. Hector Lombard again showed his tremendous dominance and his spectacular power, and Marlon Sandro came back from a loss to regain top form and use this fight as a spring board into our next featherweight tournament.”
Also stepping in the cage was Florida resident and current Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard, who gave the fans just what they wanted by delivering an exciting TKO finish in the second round. Lombard displayed his raw power more than once in this fight with ferocious flurries aimed right at Prangley’s head whenever he was able to cut off the cage.
In the end it was a failed two punch combination from Prangley that left his chin vulnerable to a counter left from Lombard. The punch left Prangley stunned and staggering. Lombard swung away with vicious hooks until the referee stepped in due to unanswered strikes at 1:06 of Round Two.
Two of the top ranked women in Bellator met for the second time in their careers as Jessica “Jag” Aguilar earned a dominant win by unanimous decision over Lisa Ellis. Aguilar won all three rounds on every judges’ scorecard and avenged a loss to Ellis from five years ago. She beat Ellis on her feet, throwing punches in bunches and landing plenty of straight left and right hands. It was an impressive victory for Aguilar.
Former Featherweight Tournament Runner-Up Marlon Sandro returned to his winning ways in his first Bellator battle since being KO’d by Pat Curran in the finals this past August. Sandro predicted a knockout win over Rafael Dias but was knocked down by his opponent early in the first round. He sat up immediately though and put Dias on his back when he tried to follow him to the floor. Once the pair returned to their feet, Sandro was able to apply an arm triangle while standing and forced a tap on the ground after he muscled Dias to the mat with his head and arm securely trapped.