Eddie Alvarez is only one step away from getting the chance to erase the last loss on his record.
If Alvarez is successful in his next fight on Nov. 19 against Mike Chandler at Bellator 58, then he will draw Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki in the Bellator cage in the first part of 2012.
“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,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
Aoki confirmed that he’s also in for the bout when he spoke to MMAWeekly.com last month, and he was looking forward to a second bout with Alvarez as well.
“Yes, I will fight him next year,” Aoki confirmed about the Alvarez fight. “I am looking forward to it.”
The only hurdle left to go before the fight happens is Alvarez defending his Bellator lightweight title against tournament winner Mike Chandler in just over a week. That by no means is a gimmee. Rebney understands that and so does Alvarez.
“To be completely honest, Ed has got his hands full against Mike Chandler. Mike 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.
“Ed’s completely focused. He’s 110-percent as good as he’s ever been. So we’ll see what happens in that fight. That is going to be a wickedly difficult fight for both of those guys.”
If Alvarez is able to defeat Chandler then he will get the fight he’s been looking for, ever since he lost to Aoki in 2008. At the time, Alvarez was on a five-fight win streak and had been tearing up the lightweight division in Dream.
Unfortunately, Alvarez fell victim to Aoki’s deadly submission game and was tapped out by heel hook in less than two minutes.
While Alvarez first needs to worry about Chandler, the gold at the end of the rainbow being a rematch with Aoki might just be the best motivation to get him ready for his title defense.
If he’s successful, Rebney is ready to put on the super fight in the first part of 2012.
“If Ed wins that fight then we would look at doing the Aoki fight probably February sometime,” Rebney revealed. “An early February date, cause Ed’s fight’s going to happen right around Thanksgiving, and then you want at least a couple of months. You want at least a couple of months before you jump in there with one of the best lightweights in the world.”
A super fight between Alvarez and Aoki may just end up being one of the biggest fights in Bellator history, but Mike Chandler might get to spoil everything if he’s successful in wrestling away the lightweight title from the champion on Nov. 19.