This Saturday the 19th of November, Bellator 58 goes down at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The main event features Eddie Alvarez, Bellator’s Lightweight Champion, defending his title against undefeated Michael Chandler. Alvarez is a more than 2.5 to 1 favorite in the fight, with good reason – Alvarez may be the top fighter in the world not under a UFC or Zuffa related contract. Chandler however has shown a lot of skill and determination in getting to an undefeated 8-0 record, and may present some problems. Let’s take a look at this fight!
Alvarez owns a record of 22-2 and has defended the Bellator title several times. He owns advantages in experience, speed and technique while ceding, as usual, advantages in height, reach and weight.
Chandler has looked rugged in his fights, putting on good performances against Patricky Freire and Lloyd Woodard. He has shown the ability to come from behind, and he has shown a lot of versatility in his techniques, both defensive and offensive.
This fight will be a typical Eddie Alvarez fight, with Eddie coming forward and stalking, using a lot of head movement to set up power punches. In the last few years, Eddie has done a good job adding leg kicks to arsenal, I look for him to use them. Alvarez sprawls with the best of them, if the fight goes to the ground Alvarez is going to want to stay on top.
Chandler, a young fighter with a wrestling background, has a Bellator tournament title and $100k on his resume. A look at his eight fights reveal no Eddie Alvarez on the resume. He is likely to fade under the assault that Alvarez will hit him with. His chance is to get it to the ground and control and submit. Or he can hit Alvarez with a lucky shot.
A recent interview with Chandler reveals that he has been working on his boxing and on his angles and hands. If he intends to box with Eddie, he may be in for a long day.
It really shows a little bit of the weakness of Bellator, in the matchmaking. They just don’t have a compelling lightweight contender developed, so Chandler gets to step up. Sure he could win and launch his career, but if he loses it will certainly look like he needed at least five more fights to polish some skills.
Alvarez at 2.5 to 1 in this fight is probably where most of the action will go at the sportsbooks, and I would lean that way as well. But they must be settled in the ring, so we will see this weekend.