The main event of Bellator 106 may be called one of the best fights to occur outside of the Octagon, but in fact it was one of the most intriguing MMA contests of the year. While the decision was very close, Eddie Alvarez was able to become the two time lightweight champion for Bellator MMA. In looking at the drama that led to this hotly contested fight, there are clear winners and losers beyond just the fact of who hand their hands raised.
Winner #1 Eddie Alvarez
Reports have come out that Eddie Alvarez earned $160,000 from Bellator for his victory. This doesn't include any payouts that may have come in the form of sponsorships. With this win he's guaranteed at least one more payday that will match his show money amount of $80,000. Alvarez has made no bones about letting the world know that he's a prize fighter looking to make the most money with his talents. Being paid out that much places him among the highest paid in the sport.
His win also gives him the opportunity to defeat Michael Chandler again which would increase his value as a free agency even more so than it was in 2012. It's a gamble because anything can happen in the world of professional sports. If he loses during the rubber match then Alvarez's overall value as a free agent will drop, but at this point he's winning the fight to get paid what he's worth.
Winner #2 Fight Fans
The narrative after the 2011 matchup between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler was that this was one of the greatest fights to happen that year. Nearly two years later they delivered another classic in what will be considered one of the best fights in 2013. The best news of the night is that they will do it again some time in 2014. That gives fight fans the opportunity to see two of the best lightweights in the sport compete once again for a championship title.
Loser – Michael Chandler
Michael losing his title in such a controversial fashion may be one of the toughest situations he's faced in his young career. However, he lost more than a title belt when John McCarthy raised Alvarez’s hand in the cage on Saturday. Chandler was being breed to be the face of Bellator MMA and with his appearance in various commercials, publications and at special events he was fulfilling that role successfully. Without the title it will be interesting to see if Bellator continues to build him in the same fashion; especially if he is unable to regain the belt the third time out out. His overall wealth tot he company was inherently damaged at the end of last night's main event.
Verdict Remains Out – Bellator MMA
While Dana White took to his Twitter account to mock Bjorn Rebney on the outcome of the main event it is still to early to determine if Bellator has received it's fair share of “karma.”
One one side, Bellator has the opportunity to get to build up the rubber match between Alvarez and Chandler; a fight that if it is promoted in the right fashion and has a solid card around it, could be their entrance way into the world of Pay per View. This is the premier match that the promotion has to offer and it just as good as any lightweight fight that the UFC can put together. A solid win for the second MMA promotion in the world.
However, the other side could end up being a loss for the promotion as a whole. If Chandler is unable to regain the title and Alvarez walks away to another promotion while still holding their really hurts the value of their entire roster. Especially after watching Ben Askren walk away while still holding their welterweight title. The promotion could not stand to lost another champion and this time they won't be able to put up the legal battle that they did the first time Alvarez left.
At the end of the night there is always a winner and loser within the world of professional competition. However, there are those who win beyond just the final score or getting their hand raised after a fight. After Bellator 106 these individuals can be considered the real winners and losers from the night's events.