A rematch nearly three-and-a-half years in the making is expected to take place on April 20.
) 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.