Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki to Rematch at Bellator 66 in Cleveland


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As expected, Eddie Alvarez will receive another crack at Shinya Aoki in the coming months.

Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney on Thursday tweeted news of the matchup, which takes place April 20 at Bellator 66. No other bouts have been announced for the show, which will emanate from the I-X Center in Cleveland and air on MTV2 and Epix.

The pair first tangled in Japan in 2008, with Aoki emerging the victor after latching onto a heel hook just 92 seconds into the contest. Following that defeat, Alvarez signed with Bellator, winning the Chicago-based promotion’s inaugural lightweight tournament and then successfully defending his title against Season 2 tournament king Pat Curran. However, Alvarez suffered just the third loss of his eight-year pro career in November, falling by knockout to Season 4 winner Michael Chandler to relinquish his lightweight belt in a “Fight of the Year” nominee.

Aoki, meanwhile, has been bested only twice since defeating Alvarez, dropping bouts to former Shooto champion Hayato Sakurai and reigning Strikeforce kingpin Gilbert Melendez. “Tobikan Judan” currently rides a seven-fight winning streak and triumphed over Lyle Beerbohm, Rich Clementi, Rob McCullough and Satoru Kitaoka in 2011. Known for his dangerous rubber guard and potent grappling skills, Aoki, 28, owns 18 of his 30 career wins by submission.

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