It looks like Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner Michael Chandler will have to wait a little longer for his crack at Eddie Alvarez’s divisional championship after word recently surfaced stating Alvarez had withdrawn from their Bellator 54 fight due to an injury he suffered while training for the October 15 event.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the grim news through a press release where he explained, “Alvarez has a huge heart and if there was any way for him to fight on the fifteenth, I know he would,” before adding that the match-up could be rescheduled for later this year if Alvarez heals according to plan.
Chandler earned his opportunity to dethrone the 26-year old champ this past spring with a trio of victories including a Unanimous Decision over Patricky Freire in the Season 4 finals. The former All-American wrestler is 8-0 thus far in MMA with three TKOs and three submissions.
The 22-2 Alvarez is considered by most to be a “Top 5” talent with a number of notable triumphs under his belt such as success against Pat Curran, Roger Huerta, Joachim Hansen, Josh Neer, and Tatsuya Kawajiri. He is currently on a seven-fight winning streak with six of the victories involving some form of stoppage.
Bellator 54 is scheduled to take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey and will still feature the Bellator Season 5 Middleweight Tournament semifinals as well as bantamweight title-holder Zach Makovsky in a belt-free “superfight” against UFC veteran Ryan Roberts.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR
MMATraining Take: Definitely a bummer of a situation though at lest it sounds like Alvarez should be healthy enough to return to the ring before 2012 rolls around. In the end the additional time could work against him too, as it not only prolongs the six-month absence from competition he’s already in the midst of but gives the ever-improving Chandler an opportunity to refine his game even more. When they do eventually fight I think it will be a competitive clash and I wouldn’t even be THAT shocked if Chandler pulled out a win in large part thanks to his wrestling ability.