Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez Rematch Targeted For April 20th
Even off the heels of losing his title, Bellator promotional favorite Eddie Alvarez still gets to face one of the world’s best lightweights, Shinya Aoki, in a shot to earn redemption from his 2008 loss to the Japanese superstar.
The bout is expected to go down at yet to be official Bellator 66 on April 20th.
Three and a half years ago the two top lightweights faced off in Japan under the DREAM banner. It took Aoki less than two minutes to secure a heal hook submission and beat Alvarez to earn the then somewhat, kind of sort of, but not really important WAMMA lightweight title.
Since their original matchup both have still remained successful in their careers. For Alvarez, he went on to win the Bellator lightweight title only losing once in his last nine fights in his most recent outing to Michael Chandler. The Chandler loss lost him his world title.
Aoki on the other hand has gone 11-2 only losing to Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce title and Hayato Sakurai during the DREAM welterweight Grand Prix.
I won’t waste too much of your time with a bunch of commentary on this one.
I am a firm believer in Aoki’s skillset, Japan deserves at least one dominant champion and I have always given that accolade to Shinya. Alvarez is good, but he has been too long protected under the Bellator banner and his recent loss to a virtual unknown only drives that point home for me.
While Gilbert Melendez may have laid out the blue print to beat Aoki, I am not sold on the fact that Alvarez is as good as Melendez and because of that I don’t think he will have the same success.
I stress that I really do not take MMA Math into consideration on these things, but if you just merely compare the resume of the two, Aoki’s is more compelling and when comparing their common opponents Aoki has done better against them.
All in all, Aoki won the first fight in 92-seconds. That’s about as dominate as you can get against someone and while it seems Aoki has been improving I think we may see Eddie on the decline.
Anything can happen in MMA, and I may be wrong on this one, but refer to my second paragraph in this breakdown. I am all aboard the Aoki bandwagon!