After a three year wait former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez will finally get his shot at redemption against Shinya Aoki, a slick submission specialist who tapped Alvarez out in 92 seconds when they met in 2008 as part of the New Year’s Eve festivities in Japan.
While nothing official has been signed, it appears both men have verbally agreed to the fight with it planned for April 20 at Bellator 66. No venue was named.
News of the likely match-up was first reported by MMAJunkie.
The 22-3 Alvarez recently had a seven-fight winning streak snapped in a Fight of the Year contender against Michael Chandler this past November. It was his first loss since falling to Aoki with wins over Pat Curran, Josh Neer, and Roger Huerta in the span.
Interestingly enough, Aoki has come out with his hand raised in seven straight scraps including a decision over Satoru Kitaoka in his most recent appearance. Aoki holds an overall record of 30-5 with eighteen submissions to his credit.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR
MMATraining Take: From what I’ve heard this will likely be Alvarez’s last fight in Bellator before he gives it a go in the UFC. However, facing someone the caliber of Aoki after a loss puts him at risk of falling again and that would definitely hurt him where a potential UFC contract is concerned.