One of the greatest rivalries in lightweight history could be set to resume after Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler both declared an interest in fighting for the third time. The former is currently a free agent while the latter is #5 in the UFC’s 155lbs rankings.
The two fought at Bellator 58 and Bellator 106 and shared a win each. When Chandler won the first fight by submission it was seen as a major upset.
But Alvarez would get his revenge in the rematch, recapturing the Bellator lightweight belt and ensuring he left the promotion on a high. Since then Alvarez has won and lost a UFC title while being involved in one of the most lucrative fights of all time.
He lost his belt to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 and would go on to sign for ONE Championship. After a not entirely successful stint competing in Asia the promotion agreed to release Alvarez and he is now a free agent.
Alvarez knows exactly who he wants to fight next:
— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) November 15, 2022
At UFC 281 last weekend Chandler was submitted by Dustin Poirier with both men earning a $50,000 USD bonus for their efforts. Afterwards the 36-year-old suggested his next opponent could be Alvarez,
“Eddie (Alvarez) and I have got some history. Eddie and I have made some magic in there. Eddie was a former UFC champion. I would love to see him come back here and get thrown back into the mix. There ain’t no way that he and I are not fighting if he comes to the UFC. So, I love the idea of that fight,” he said.
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Both bouts between the two men have been entertaining and Chandler’s style has made him a fan favourite in the UFC despite suffering three losses in his five fights. A title shot seems well out of the 36 year old’s reach after last weekend’s loss but he remains a big draw.
Whether or not the UFC would sign Alvarez for a second time remains to be seen. He only won one of his four ONE Championship fights and it would be unusual for free agent on this sort of form to be handed a shot at the #5 ranked fighter in the division.
Alvarez is not a usual case though. He has headlined one of the highest grossing UFC pay per view cards of all time and is a former champion with a reputation for putting on exciting fights.
Chandler and Alvarez are both keen to face each other for a third time. Only time will tell whether or not the UFC’s matchmakers share their enthusiasm.