Highly-ranked lightweight competitor Eddie Alvarez suffered a disappointing first round defeat against Shinya Aoki during FEG’s “Dynamite!!” event on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
Alvarez was forced to tap at 1:32 of round 1 when he was caught in a heel hook by Aoki. Speculation has run rampant that Alvarez suffered a severe injury as a result of the submission. Some of the speculation was fueled by FEG/DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara informing the media after the bout that Alvarez had sustained a an injury that was expected to sideline him for several months.
When contacted by FiveOuncesOfPain.com for comment, Alvarez’s manager, Monte Cox, indicated that X-rays conducted in Japan did not reveal a fracture and that Alvarez is expected to undergo additional testing to determine the extent of any injury he may have suffered.
Cox added that as of now, Alvarez is still scheduled to face Naoyuki Kotani (17-8-4) on January 23 during an Extreme Challenge event at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, the status show’s main event could change pending results of additional medical testing on Alvarez. If Alvarez is diagnosed with ligament damage of any kind, it would make it unlikely that he’d be able to compete as scheduled.