On Saturday, Nov. 2, Bellator hosted its 106th event from the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, Calif.

In the night’s main event, Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler rematched the man whom he defeated to capture the belt, Eddie Alvarez. Chandler entered the cage with a perfect, 12-0 record, including three straight stoppage wins since defeating Alvarez in late 2011. Alvarez bounced back from the loss with two straight, first-round knockout wins of his own to set up the rematch. The fight was originally slated to take co-main event status on the promotion’s first pay-per-view event, but a fractured neck suffered by headliner Tito Ortiz forced the card to switch to Spike TV.

Also on the main card, tournament winners Emanuel Newton and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal faced off for a second time with the promotion’s interim light heavyweight belt up for grabs. A third championship bout graced the event, as featherweight title holder Pat Curran put his belt on the line against tournament winner Daniel Straus, in yet another rematch.

In addition to the three title bouts, the promotion crowned a winner of its reality series, Fight Master, as Mike Bronzoulis battled Joe Riggs.

The action kicked off at 7 p.m. ET with six fights live on Spike.com. The five-fight main card aired live on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Alvarez edges Chandler, reclaims lightweight title

Eddie Alvarez defeated Michael Chandler in another classic to reclaim the Bellator lightweight title by split decision.

Alvarez took the center of the cage but was struck with a left jab by Chandler at the start of this one. Alvarez got a hold of Chandler and attempted a takedown but did not get it. Alvarez was able to connect with a nice jab and a straight right hand on Chandler. The champion continued to be the man pressing forward and hit Alvarez with a good right. Alvarez went for a single leg takedown but was shrugged off fairly easily. Chandler got hit with a counter left hand while he was coming in and he backed off briefly. Chandler was able to catch an Alvarez kick and take his back. Chandler went for a choke that looked tight, but he let go. Alvarez escaped and the two ended the round on the feet.

Chandler landed a good combination to start off, but was backed off by a counter right from the challenger. Alvarez tried to establish a jab, but was strung out and Chandler was able to connect with an uppercut.  Alvarez was able to establish the jab off and on, but Chandler used good head movement to avoid too much damage. The champion got ahold of Alvarez and took him down. He was on his back, but had no real control. Alvarez got his back to the fence and was able to stand up. Alvarez connected with another combo and Chandler’s left eye looked like it was beginning to close. Chandler stayed alive and scores a takedown to end the frame.

Both men came out swinging to begin the third. Chandler threw a kick, but again Alvarez was able to counter with a right hand. Alvarez was able to defend a Chandler takedown and he started to move forward a bit. Alvarez was able to once again defend two more takedowns from the champ. The challenger started to look like the fresher fighter. He threw the jab even more and targeted the left eye that was starting to swell up. Alvarez threw a spinning back fist as blood began to pour from Chandler’s nose. Chandler was finally able to score a takedown in the final minute, but it was easily the toughest round of his title reign so far.

The doctor checked out Chandler’s eye in between rounds, but let the fight continue on. Alvarez was the man moving forward to begin this round. He got Chandler back against the cage, but the champion exploded forward with a flying knee. Alvarez backed off quite a bit after that strike and was taken down. Chandler looked to open up with some ground and pound from Alvarez’s full guard. Chandler maintained some good top control and he landed some flush elbows and right hands on the challenger. Chandler stayed on top and rebounded greatly after a rough third round.

Alvarez came out aggressive after his corner told him he needed to get a finish to win the fight. Chandler took advantage of that and took Alvarez down. The champion took the back of the challenger and looked for the rear-naked choke. Alvarez spun out and landed some good punches on the way back to their feet. Chandler went for another takedown after being stuck with multiple Alvarez jabs. Alvarez defended well. Chandler was against the cage and Alvarez looked for a knee but held off after Chandler’s palm hit the mat. Alvarez took Chandler down and took his back. The challenger had multiple rear-naked choke attempts but Chandler defended with amazing heart. Chandler even spun out of the back control and ended up on top of Alvarez. The two warriors got back to their feet and Chandler took Alvarez down one more time to end the fight.

When the scorecards were revealed, Alvarez reclaimed the belt that Chandler took from him with scores of 48-47, 47-48 and 48-47.

Newton bests King Mo again, earns interim light heavyweight title

Emmanuel Newton stayed more active in the striking game to upset Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal once again and claim the promotion’s interim light heavyweight championship by unanimous decision.

The fight started with Lawal pawing out his hands trying to establish the distance. Mo went for an early takedown and was eventually able to complete it. Newton did a good job and got back to his feet rather quickly. Mo unloaded a bit as the two broke apart but he did not keep the pressure on. Newton threw a crazy spinning kick, but Lawal caught him and took him down right away. Newton got back to his feet rather easily once again, but paid for it with a hard knee to the body. The fighters broke and the round ended with Newton throwing a kick.

Mo landed a clean left early in the round. Newton followed up with an overhand right that connected, but it wasn’t a particularly powerful shot. Newton threw a spinning kick that was nowhere near on the mark. Lawal was able to score a takedown, but he had trouble keeping Newton on his back. Newton finally connected with a flush kick that stumbled Lawal. Newton rushed in, but he couldn’t get enough clean shots through and Mo was able to recover. The two went back and forth on the feet for the remainder of the round with Newton staying a bit more active with his strikes.

Newton scored the first significant strike of the third round with a kick to the body. Lawal pushed forward and threw some true knockout blows, but he was just off with his accuracy. Newton continued to throw spinning back kicks that weren’t able to connect with the exception of one to the thigh. Lawal continued to be the fighter to walk forward and landed a solid left to the body. Lawal finally shot in for a takedown with less than a minute remaining in the round, but he was unable to complete it.

Newton opens up with a body kick just as he did to start the fourth. Newton landed with one of his spinning kicks to the body, but Lawal still looked unfazed and answered with a right hand. Mo came forward and landed a left and right hand combo. Newton created a bit of distance again by throwing kicks. Lawal went for a takedown but was unable to secure it with how sweaty both fighters had become. Lawal went right back to the well with another takedown attempt and brought Newton down, but still was unable to hold him there. Newton stayed more active with his strikes from distance and landed with an uppercut in the final minute of the round.

The fight continued to be much of the same early in the final round. Lawal was the fighter moving forward, but Newton was throwing more strikes. Newton landed a solid jab, but it was countered with a harder right hand by Lawal. Blood began to trickle from below Newton’s right eye and nose. Mo caught Newton when he threw another spinning kick. The fight did not go to the ground and the fighters re-established themselves on the feet.  Lawal finally got a brief takedown in the final minute and the two were standing again at the end of this close fight to score.

Straus outworks Curran, captures featherweight title

Daniel Straus used a suffocating style to defeat Pat Curran and win the featherweight championship by unanimous decision.

Straus looked to walk forward and pressure Curran in the early going. Straus changed levels and dropped down for the takedown. He did put Curran on his back briefly, but Straus wasn’t able to hold him there as Curran got back to his feet and re-established the distance. Curran landed some clean strikes at distance, but Straus clearly wanted the fight to take place on the fence. Straus was never able to fully take Curran down, but he kept him tied up against the cage for most of the round.

Curran thew some leg kicks at the beginning of the second in an attempt to slow Straus down. Straus was able to connect some at distance and got a good left hand through the guard of the champion. Curran stayed a bit more aggressive than he was early on and landed some really good hooks to the body of Straus. Every time Curran looked like he was starting to really get the better of the striking game Straus would try to get in close and avoid those shots. Curran stayed smart and defended those attempts a lot better than he did in round one.

Curran started walking down Straus a bit in the early seconds of the round. Straus went back to the well and started with the takedown attempts against the cage. Curran could not keep Straus off of him, but Straus still did not earn a takedown. Curran reversed and put Straus against the cage. Straus dropped to one knee, and Curran threw a knee flush to the chin. Curran immediately backed off knowing it was an illegal strike and the referee paused the fight. Jason Herzog gave Straus all the time he needed to recover and took a point away from the champion. Straus did recover and took Curran down right after the restart. The challenger went right into side control and looked to land some elbows. Straus couldn’t get too much damage done and Curran was able to get back to full guard to end the round.

Both guys came out aggressive in the fourth, but Straus was able to get ahold of Curran early and get the takedown. Curran got back to his feet, but was slammed back down fairly quickly. Curran once again got to his feet rather quickly, but Straus stayed tenacious and took him down again. Curran attempted a guillotine from his full guard, but Straus defended it just fine. Straus controlled the remaining time in the round with suffocating top control.

Straus connected with two solid left hands early on in the final round. Straus stayed the aggressor, despite being ahead on the scorecards. He landed a flying knee and clipped the champion with another left hand. Straus went back to his grinding style again and pressed Curran against the cage once again. Curran reversed the position and looked for a takedown, but was not successful. Curran stayed in a controlling position to end the fight, but was unable to do the damage he needed to to finish the fight.

Riggs cruises past Bronzoulis in Fight Master final

Joe Riggs outpointed Mike Bronzoulis to earn $100,000 and a spot in a future Bellator welterweight tournament.

The fighters started this one out in a feeling out process. The most significant strikes early were some leg kicks from Mike Bronzoulis. Bronzoulis continued with the leg strikes and caused some bruising on Riggs’ lead leg. Riggs was able to catch one of Bronzoulis’ kicks and close the distance. Riggs landed an uppercut in the clinch and took Bronzoulis down. Shortly after the takedown Riggs was able to take the back of Bronzoulis and start looking for a rear naked choke. Bronzoulis was game and was able to just ride out the remaining seconds of the round.

Riggs pressed forward at the beginning of the second round. He got ahold of Bronzoulis and pressed him up against the cage. Bronzoulis was able to get back to his feet and immediately land another outside leg kick. Riggs then used an outside trip to take Bronzoulis to take him down. Riggs passed to the half guard and was able to once again take the back of Bronzoulis when he tried to scramble back to his feet. Riggs wasn’t as successful looking for submission attempts like in the first round and ended the round on his back after Bronzoulis reversed and ended up on top.

Bronzoulis came forward with some wild strikes early in the round, but he could not connect on any. Riggs went for the takedown earlier in the final round, but he was still able to secure it and once again take the back during a scramble. Riggs still couldn’t find his way in with a submission and instead opened up with a little bit more ground and pound.  Bronzoulis was able to reverse and end up on top with seconds left in the fight, but it was just too little to late.

Richman stops Stepanyan

Mike Richman stopped Akop Stepanyan with a left hand in a battle of featherweight strikers.

The two strikers touched gloves to begin this featherweight bout. Stepanyan landed with a spinning back fist, but it wasn’t very accurate and he connected more with his forearm. Stepanyan threw another unorthodox spinning technique, this time with a kick that did not land. Richman continued to be the fighter that pressed forward though and landed some clean right hands that opened up a cut around Stepanyan’s right eye. Richman looked like he got more comfortable with the unorthodox style of Stepanyan. “The Marine” avoided a spinning back fist and landed a good left and right hand combination. Stepanyan still came back and was able to rock Richman, but was downed himself from a Richman left hand. It looked like he was still coherent, but Herb Dean had seen enough and stopped the fight.

FULL RESULTS
Eddie Alvarez def. Michael Chandler by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) – for lightweight title
Emanuel Newton def. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) – for interim light heavyweight title
Daniel Straus def. Pat Curran by unanimous decision (49-45, 48-46. 48-46) – for featherweight title
Joe Riggs def. Mike Bronzoulis by unanimous decision ( 30-27 x3) – Fight Master final
Mike Richman def. Akop Stepanyan by TKO (punch). Round 1, 4:05
Cristiano Souza def. Alejandro Garcia by submission (rear naked choke). Round 3, 3:06
Jesse Juarez def. Joe Williams by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 0:57
Brandon Halsey def. Hector Ramirez by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:52
Mike Guymon def. Aaron Miller by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 4:20
Cleber Luciano def. Joe Camacho by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Josh Smith def. Darren Smith by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Photo: Eddie Alvarez (Sherdog)

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.