Chandler plans "a few tweaks", finish of Alvarez.

Michael Chandler thinks he just needs to "tweak" a few things into Eddie Alvarez rematch, plans a finish at Bellator 120.

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Next week on pay-per-view, Michael Chandler will fight Eddie Alvarez for the third time at Bellator 120.

Chandler captured the Bellator Lightweight Championship from Alvarez in one of the top fights of 2011, and then lost that title to Alvarez last fall in a fight which may have been even better.

As he approaches the third matchup on May 17, Chandler doesn't see a lot that needs to be changed, and thinks he simply didn't perform quite to his abilities in his losing effort last November.

"I think the biggest disappointment in the last fight wasn't the way the decision went," Chandler said in a recent interview with "It wasn't how the fight played out. It was just the fact I didn't show how good of a fighter I truly am."

"To a certain extent you have to look back because history is the best indication of the future sometimes. A lot of constants are going to be the same with him when I step in the cage. It's going to be fast paced – at least one guy trying to take the other guy's head off. We both have great cardio, great skills. It's just a matter of who is going to win the positions. I just need to tweak a few things."

Chandler thinks Alvarez is mistaken if he thinks he's got him figured out, and believes Alvarez's gameplan in the last fight was to mostly avoid him, and he managed to accomplish that.

"He made some adjustments and had a good game plan," Chandler said. "That game plan was just to avoid the fight at all costs unless he really saw himself able to do some damage. He was backing up the entire fight. I think that's what he thinks is his 'blueprint.' He's telling everyone he's got the blueprint to beat Michael Chandler."

"He didn't really take a forward step many times in that fight. His game plan was to back up and pot shot with little jabs. Lucky for him I didn't care that I was getting hit and kept coming forward. He was able to land some punches, and that was the story of the fight. It was me chasing him around for 25 minutes.

"I go into the third fight expecting a blend of Eddie in the first fight and Eddie in the second fight. But I'm expecting him to show up like the second fight, so I'm tailoring my game plan more toward that. I'm excited to get in the cage and avenge this loss and hopefully finish him."

Penick's Analysis: While Alvarez was certainly effective as a counter-striker in the last fight, it's a gross oversimplification from Chandler to say Eddie was hitting him with "little jabs" or that he was "chasing him around" the whole fight. That's just not how that fight played out. Now, Chandler is absolutely capable of making some slight adjustments and making the fight swing in his favor again this time around, but clearly Alvarez is capable of the same, as it happened from fight one to fight two. This is a fantastic rubber match specifically because both fighters have had so much success against one another. There has been no blowout, there's been no massive controversy; they've had two excellent fights because they're very evenly matched, and everyone's hoping for a third next week.