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Aoki Vs. Alvarez Rumored For Bellator In Early 2012

According to, Bellator is looking to start 2012 with a bang by pitting their lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, against the DREAM 155lbs. king Shinya Aoki under their banner at the beginning of the year.

The bout agreements have been given out to both men and their signatures are expected soon.

The two top lightweights already share history, with Aoki handing Alvarez one of his two career losses (also, his last defeat) on New Year’s Eve in 2008, defeating the New Jersey native with a heel hook in the first round.

Since then, the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the world’s top 155’ers by rattling off seven straight victories, with only one seeing the final bell. Alvarez is 22-2 overall and is currently scheduled to meet Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner Michael Chandler this October 15 at Bellator 54 in defense of his lightweight title.

Long considered to be amongst the top of the lightweight heap, Japanese submission specialist Shinya Aoki has rebounded from an embarrassing unanimous decision defeat to Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez by putting together a five-fight winning streak (not counting his knockout loss to kickboxer Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima in a special rules exhibition bout), culminating in a second round submission win over Rich Clementi.

Though both men hold championships, the bout is not expected to be contested with either title on the line.