Hector Lombard, Eddie Alvarez Win Bellator Titles

Eddie Alvarez beat Toby Imada to win the lightweight title and Hector Lombard beat Jared Hess to win the middleweight title Friday night as the Bellator Fighting Championships brought its inaugural season to a close.

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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