Spike TV President Kevin Kay is preparing for that eventuality, and he believes it will serve to motivate Michael Chandler.
“There’s so much at stake in this fight between these two guys,” Kay told MMAjunkie. “You’ve got Michael Chandler who does not want Eddie Alvarez to leave the promotion with his belt right? Chandler is going to be in Bellator for a long time, and he wants to avenge that loss. He is so talented and so driven, so he’s got a lot at stake.
“Obviously Eddie Alvarez has plenty at stake. He’s an incredibly talented fighter and he’s made a decision that win or lose, he’s probably leaving this promotion. And if he wins, he kind of gets to write his own ticket. If he loses, boy, that’s a lot of risk.”
Alvarez (25-3 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) and Chandler (12-1 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) headline next Saturday’s “Bellator 120: Alvarez vs. Chandler III” event, which takes place at Landers Center in Southaven, Miss. The night’s five-fight main card airs on pay-per-view, a first for the California-based promotion.
Of course, the pair’s second meeting was also supposed to air on pay-per-view, but UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, who was scheduled to compete in the night’s main event against former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, was forced to withdraw from the event with injury. Promotion officials ultimately elected scrap the premium plans and instead air the card on Spike TV.
Kay admits that was a disappointing development but may ultimately have paid dividends in pushing the trilogy fight.
“We learned a lot from the first time around,” Kay said. “It wasn’t ideal. Tito got that injury, and we ended up scrapping it and putting it onto Spike. It ended up being a big success, and we had that great Alvarez vs. Chandler second fight on Spike, which was awesome. It was like, ‘Alright, there you go. Now it’s a trilogy. Let’s put it on pay-per-view.’
“It’s huge and everybody wants to see it and it only makes sense.”