Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez (22-2) hasn’t been beaten in nearly three years, winning all seven of his scraps since falling to submission specialist Shinya Aoki (29-5) on New Year’s Eve in 2008. However, while Alvarez has certainly experienced his share of success since the 90-second loss, recent victories over the apt adversaries like Josh Neer and Roger Huerta haven’t diluted his desire to lock horns a second time with the “Tobikan Judan”.
Now it appears Alvarez will get his wish in February as long as he’s able to hold off undefeated grappler Michael Chandler in two weeks at Bellator 58, no easy feat to be sure.
According to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, the organization is ready to make the match-up with Aoki’s camp also apparently on board.
“Eddie and I have been talking about that fight now for the last two years. Ever since Eddie got submitted over in Japan, Ed’s been calling me saying ”˜how can we make it?’ Now we’ve finally got it done,” Rebney explained in a conversation with MMAWeekly Radio.
Focusing on the present rather than future, Rebney also acknowledged the bout between Alvarez and Aoki is far from a given considering the challenge the 8-0 Chandler poses after winning the promotion’s Season 4 lightweight tournament earlier this year.
“To be completely honest, Ed has got his hands full against Chandler. Chandler is an absolute freak of nature in terms of his wrestling. His stand-up has really come around. Chandler’s a beast,” said Rebney glowingly of the Xtreme Couture competitor.
Fans can watch Alvarez attempt to earn his chance at redemption against Aoki on November 19 on a card also featuring a middleweight super-fight between explosive Cuban champion Hector Lombard and well-rounded journeyman Trevor Prangley.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR