Michael Chandler's Bellator lightweight title win over Eddie Alvarez is among the better MMA fights you're likely to see. The fight was so good that most seemed to think that an immediate rematch made sense from both a sporting and entertainment perspective.
Instead, Alvarez was matched up with Shinya Aoki and Patricky Freire with Bellator emphasizing their "title shots are earned through the tournament" philosophy. Alvarez's contract was up after the Freire bout and he and Bellator began a contract stand-off that saw the parties head to court when the UFC made an offer that Bellator felt they'd matched and Alvarez felt they had not.
That dispute is now over with Bellator announcing via a press release that Alvarez and Chandler will rematch on November 2 on Bellator's debut PPV effort. The bout will also be for the Bellator lightweight title.
Just yesterday Bellator posted an article on their website explaining their championship replacement clause, detailing a convoluted new process for determining title challengers in the event of injury or other unforeseen circumstance, so they set things into motion yesterday with the idea that non tournament winners could receive title shots in the future, a big change from their past. And Dave Jansen (the current lightweight tourney winner waiting for a shot) suffering an ACL injury that forced him out of his July 31 bout may have worked to Bellator's benefit if he were still injured enough to allow them to use that as the excuse to put Alvarez into the slot.
Bellator did announce a rematch clause last November, but it makes little sense to me to say this falls under that clause given that it will be 2 years since the first fight and both men have fought multiple times. It seems like a stretch to say that you're enacting a rematch clause after all this time.
But, whatever the logic that put Alvarez into a title shot despite what will be over a year out of the cage and no tournament win, MMA fans should be happy that they're getting what is likely the best fight Bellator can offer.
Though there might have to be some concern internally that they can't possibly pull a profit on the PPV when they're having to pay Alvarez (with his big new contract) as well as show headliners Tito Ortiz and Quinton Jackson.