Bellator FC 66: Eddie Alvarez-Shinya Aoki rematch set for April
Former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez will get his chance to avenge a submission loss to Shinya Aoki this April. Aoki defeated Alvarez back in 2008 via Heel Hook in just 92 seconds.
The match has been planned by Bellator for a few months now, but Alvarez recently confirmed that exact time for the bout.
Alvarez and Aoki are two of the top lightweights in the world and among the few fighters out there regarded in such high esteem who do not compete in the UFC.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been wanting to get this back for the past three years so I’m just happy I got the opportunity and that the promoter, Bjorn Rebney, was able to make this come together and happen,” said Alvarez, in an interview with The Fight Nerd.
Alvarez lost his Bellator title to Michael Chandler in late 2011 in a match that many have claimed was the Fight of the Year. Aoki last competed at the DREAM New Year’s Eve event, earning semi-lopsided decision win over Satoru Kitaoka.
Well this should be rather interesting to be the least.
02-18-2012 10:11 PM
Here's an article with the exact date, wish I knew where they were going though:
A rematch nearly three-and-a-half years in the making is expected to take place on April 20.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned that both Shinya Aoki (30-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Eddie Alvarez (22-3 MMA, 6-1 BFC) have verbally agreed to meet at an as-yet-unannounced Bellator 66 event.
Contracts are expected to be finalized shortly.
Bellator 66 takes place April 20, but Bellator Fighting Championships officials have yet to announce a venue for the card.
The pair originally met in December 2008, when Aoki needed just 92 seconds to submit Alvarez via heel hook and claim the WAMMA lightweight crown. Since that meeting, Aoki has pieced together an 11-2 mark, while Alvarez has gone 8-1.
Aoki, the current DREAM lightweight champion, makes his Bellator debut on the strength of a seven-fight win streak. He's fought twice before in the U.S., both times under the Strikeforce banner.
Alvarez, a season-one tourney winner who held the Bellator lightweight title for two-and-a-half years, lost the belt to Michael Chandler in November at Bellator 58. The spirited and back-and-forth bout, which proved one of 2011's best, ended in a fourth-round submission victory for new champ and still-undefeated Chandler.
After scoring a Knockout of the Year candidate at Friday's Bellator 61 event, Brian Rogers next will fight close to home.
The Ohio-based Rogers (9-3 MMA, 2-1 BFC) has been slotted to fight fellow Bellator 61 winner Bruno Santos (13-0 MMA, 1-0 BFC) at next month's Bellator 66 event in the semifinals of the organization's season-six middleweight tournament.
In the other tourney bracket, Maiquel Falcao (29-4 MMA, 1-0 BFC) takes on Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (16-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC).
Bellator 66 takes place April 20 at the I-X Center in Cleveland. The event's main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX) while preliminary-card fights stream on Spike.com. The tournament matches, as well as an Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki headliner, are part of the main card.
Rogers punched (well, kneed) his ticket to the semifinals with a stunning flying-knee KO of Vitor Vianna in Bellator 61's first televised fight. Rogers, who gave a shout-out to northern Ohio in his post-fight interview, now takes on Santos, who picked up his 13th consecutive victory by earning a unanimous decision over submission specialist Giva "The Arm Collector" Santana.
Falcao, meanwhile, headlined Bellator 61 and scored a shutout unanimous-decision victory over Norman Paraisy to move to 3-1 since his UFC release. He takes on Vasilevsky, who easily handled Victor O'Donnell and finished strong for a unanimous-decision victory.
The latest Bellator 61 card now includes:
•Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki
•Brian Rogers vs. Bruno Santos - middleweight-tourney semifinal
•Maiquel Falcao vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky - middleweight-tourney semifinal
•Aisling Daly vs. Jessica Eye