Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 11/2/13
We are now just t-minus a handful of hours away from the real most anticipated lightweight rematch of 2013. What was originally slated to be a co-main event tilt for Bellator's inaugural PPV is now the main event of a free TV card that will take place later tonight on Spike TV. The scrapping of Bellator's 'Rampage vs. Tito' potential PPV disaster turned into a 'Chandler vs. Alvarez II' Spike TV treat. Since the announcement of Tito's injury just over a week ago the MMA community has been buzzing about what the real main event was all along - a rematch of one of the greatest fights of all-time. Talk about a blessing in disguise. Now headliner and former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has had some issues with Bellator over the past year and some change. That's no secret. The former face of the company wasn't very shy about his legal squabbles. During his time away from the cage he even got so antsy that he considered competing in illegal street fights in Florida to get some coin.  Tonight's fight isn't just about Alvarez avenging his loss to Chandler, it's about him sticking it to the man. His relationship with Bjorn Rebney is a far cry now from when the Bellator CEO praised him and continued to pat him on the back after he obliterated Shinya Aoki in a rematch Alvarez had been begging him for.  When Alvarez's contract expired it appeared he'd be the most sought after free agent in mixed martial arts since Jake Shields left Strikeforce. His KO of Patricky 'Pitbull' in Windsor last October was quickly dubbed as the multi-million dollar head-kick; Alvarez appeared destined for a long term contract with the biggest MMA promotion in the world - the UFC. Not so fast.  The powers that be at Bellator refused to let their golden boy go. Instead, Alvarez would end up caught up in a nasty battle that in the end wouldn't of even been heard in court until September of 2014, according to SI's Loretta Hunt. Once this became clear to Alvarez, a man who fights for a living, you'd have to imagine that over two years away from a sport where youth is a weapon just wasn't an option. The 29-year-old eventually decided to work with his employers and ended up signing a deal that would get him some pay-per-view dollars in a rematch against the new face of the company - Michael Chandler.  Although his fight won't be shown on pay-per-view all that means is that Alvarez will have far more eyes on his fight with Chandler tonight. You could play the blame game all you want in regards to the whole Eddie vs. Bellator situation. When it comes down to it, to steal a phrase from the acting WWE COO Triple H, "It's what's best for business." Rebney gets at least one more big fight out of his former horse, Alvarez doesn't have to leave his fighting future up to the courts while he sits on the sidelines indefinitely, and the fans get a rematch for the ages. This fight is so story line heavy that it almost forces us to forget for just a moment about how great of a match up this really is.  The thing that sets these two main eventers apart from most lightweights in the sport is that they move like bantamweights with the KO power of middleweights. Factor in both men's slick submission games, respectively, and the killer instinct within them and you have the perfect match made in hell.  We all know the fight doesn't really start until Eddie gets rocked at least once. It's up to Chandler to capitalize when that moment hits. He needs to remain economical, picking his shots and getting the finish before those cobwebs clear would be the smartest route to success; Alvarez is more dangerous after a flash KO than when he's fresh. Then there's that whole avenging a previous loss factor.  When Alvarez finally got his mitts on Shinya Aoki  over three years after tapping out to a nasty heel hook he did some pretty unsavory things to Tōbikan Jūdan. Things got so nasty just over two minutes into the fight that Aoki's corner was forced to throw in the towel to save their fighter any permanent damage. Anytime a fighter gets the chance to avenge a loss, a highly skilled fighter still in his or her prime nonetheless, I give them the advantage. Alvarez has gotten plenty of time to think things over and make adjustments. He holds serve tonight. The real question is, will he stick it to the man if and when he gets his hand raised? Or will he walk away gracefully to the UFC after suffering two losses to the new face of the company he once helped carry on his shoulders? Alvarez needs this win more than Chandler does, that's a fact. It's revenge or bust for the former Philly street fighter. And as fans we get to sit back and enjoy the show. It's Eddie Against the Machine tonight live and free on Spike TV. Prepare yourself for another bombtrack. 
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