The third fight in the Eddie Alvarez versus Michael Chandler trilogy will take place on May 17. That fight, like the first two will be for the Bellator lightweight title, a title that is currently in the possession of Alvarez.
The first fight between the two competitors took place on November 19, 2011. That fight, a candidate for Fight of the Year, ended with Chandler submitting Alvarez via rear naked choke at the 3:06 mark of Round 4. The win gave Chandler the Bellator lightweight title, a title that Alvarez had held since June 2009.
The rematch between the two took place on November 2, 2013. That fight, another candidate for Fight of the Year, went the distance. When the scorecards were read, Alvarez was declared the winner by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) and reclaimed the title.
Alvarez was in attendance this past weekend for Bellator 110, and the champion spoke to Sherdog.com about his upcoming rubber match with Chandler. Alvarez said the first loss to Chandler "hurt badly," and that the pain from that loss continues to linger to this day, despite his win in the rematch. With that loss still burned into his mind, Alvarez said he made a promise to himself to never feel that pain again, and that his goal is to "Finish out the trilogy, hopefully, with a good finish."
As far as what the difference was between the first and second fight, Alvarez said it was simply adjusting to the style of fighter that Chandler is. "There's a blueprint to fight guys like Mike Chandler," Alvarez said. "We figured out that blueprint. We made adjustments, and we won the fight accordingly."
The current Bellator champion said that he feels that with the blueprint defined on how to beat Chandler, he doesn't see the need for many additional changes heading into the May 17 fight. Instead, Alvarez plan is to follow that blueprint, saying, "I think I have to do what I did, just do it better, faster and stronger."
The fight between Alvarez and Chandler will headline Bellator's first foray into the pay-per-view market. The location has not been announced for the event, nor have any additional fights.