Alvarez, widely regarded as one of the Top 10 lightweights in MMA, entered the year as Bellator's best-known fighter, and he delivered as expected in the lightweight tournament. In Friday night's final, he caught Imada in a rear-naked choke just 38 seconds into the second round. The win improves his record to 18-2.
Lombard, a former Olympic judo competitor for his native Cuba, beat Hess by fourth-round TKO on a doctor stoppage due to a cut. The win improves Lombard's record to 21-2-1.
Alvarez and Lombard join featherweight champion Joe Soto and welterweight champion Lyman Good as the tournament winners of Bellator's inaugural season. Bellator's current plan is to begin a second season in September, with a new set of tournaments determining No. 1 contenders to challenge Soto, Good, Alvarez and Lombard.
Whether that all works out as planned it's too early to say; many MMA promotions have gotten off to a fast start and then failed to build on early momentum. But Bellator deserves credit for a solid first season, and in Soto, Good, Alvarez and Lombard, it has a good crop of champions.
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