Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki I

source: sherdog.com
 

Tonight Eddie Alvarez gets a rematch with Shinya Aoki in the main event of Bellator 66 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

“I've been asking for this fight for about three years,"Alvarez recently told Sherdog.com. "Now I finally have my chance, and I'm just ready to go out there and take advantage of it. I think I'm a much better submission artist than I was the last time me and Aoki fought. I think I have a lot more tools on the ground now. I also just think that I'm a better all around fighter than I was three years ago. I've been able to grow leaps and bounds.”

“I know I can compete with the best lightweights in the world, and I was still questioning that when I fought Aoki the first time. I think that when you believe in yourself it really reflects on how you compete, and I have that now. t's really important to get a hold of a guy ranked in the top five and to prove myself against a guy that's in the upper echelon of the division like Aoki. That's the only way for me to get back to the top of the division and the only way to get fans to tune in.”

“I know Aoki has been focusing on his muay Thai lately, but I think he's just doing enough so he can hang in there on the feet. He's always going to go back to his bread and butter. At the end of the day, no matter how much striking he does, his goal is always going to be to get me to the ground. For me, knocking my opponent out is pretty much the goal in every fight. If I get in a shootout with most guys, I'm going to put most guys away. That's always been my strength and that will always be an advantage for me.”

“I feel like I owe Aoki one, so I can't just win a decision. He finished me, so I would love nothing more than to return the favor. I definitely feel like I owe him one for the way he got me, so I'm going to come after him and try to finish him in the same manner.

Eddie Alvarez on Shinya Aoki Rematch at Bellator 66: ‘I Owe Him One’ By Mike Whitman Apr 20, 2012 Ask Eddie Alvarez how quickly the tables can turn in mixed martial arts. Three years ago, Alvarez appeared in control of his bout with Shinya Aoki at K-1 "Dynamite" 2008, tossing his opponent over his hip and gliding smoothly into mount early in round one. The American held his dominant position for only a moment, however, as Aoki executed a hip escape and wrapped up Alvarez’s leg. Though the Pennsylvanian tried gamely to roll out of Aoki’s inverted heel hook, the Japanese submission ace eventually slapped on the clamps and torqued Alvarez’s knee, quickly forcing the future Bellator champion to submit. Tonight, Alvarez will finally receive his rematch with “Tobikan Judan,” as he meets Aoki in the main event of Bellator 66 at the I-X Center in Cleveland. Also featuring the middleweight and welterweight tournament semifinals, the main draw airs on MTV2 and Epix. “I've been asking for this fight for about three years. Now I finally have my chance, and I'm just ready to go out there and take advantage of it,” Alvarez recently told Sherdog.com “I think I'm a much better submission artist than I was the last time me and Aoki fought. I think I have a lot more tools on the ground now. I also just think that I'm a better all around fighter than I was three years ago. I've been able to grow leaps and bounds.” Alvarez rattled off seven consecutive victories following his defeat to Aoki, winning Bellator’s inaugural lightweight tournament in 2009 and defending his belt successfully against Pat Curran one year ago. Most recently, however, Alvarez was upset by Season 5 tournament winner Michael Chandler, who snatched away Alvarez’s title with a fourth-round rear-naked choke in “Fight of the Year” nominee at Bellator 58 this past November. “I made a couple of small mistakes in my fight with Michael Chandler, and I paid for them. That’s just the way things go sometimes. You have to fight the perfect fight every time,” said Alvarez. “I think I went into the fight with Chandler with too many expectations of how the fight would go, instead of just going in there and reacting and fighting on instinct like I normally do. I had too many expectations and the fight didn't go the way I had planned in my head.” Despite suffering his third career setback in his last in-cage appearance, Alvarez says he will enter the cage on Friday night with his confidence riding high. “I know I can compete with the best lightweights in the world, and I was still questioning that when I fought Aoki the first time. I think that when you believe in yourself it really reflects on how you compete, and I have that now,” said Alvarez. “It's really important to get a hold of a guy ranked in the top five and to prove myself against a guy that's in the upper echelon of the division like Aoki. That's the only way for me to get back to the top of the division and the only way to get fans to tune in.” Known for his world-class ground game, Aoki has finished 19 of his 30 career victims by submission. Though the Japanese fighter has dedicated himself to improving his standup as of late, Alvarez believes Aoki will nevertheless look to drag him to the mat. “I know Aoki has been focusing on his muay Thai lately, but I think he's just doing enough so he can hang in there on the feet. He's always going to go back to his bread and butter. At the end of the day, no matter how much striking he does, his goal is always going to be to get me to the ground,” said Alvarez. “For me, knocking my opponent out is pretty much the goal in every fight. If I get in a shootout with most guys, I'm going to put most guys away. That's always been my strength and that will always be an advantage for me.” Regardless of what Aoki brings to the table, Alvarez says he will not repeat the same mistake he made against Chandler last year. Searching for vindication, the former champion is eager to avenge his defeat and even the score by stopping Aoki in their upcoming rematch. “I feel like I owe Aoki one, so I can't just win a decision. He finished me, so I would love nothing more than to return the favor. I definitely feel like I owe him one for the way he got me, so I'm going to come after him and try to finish him in the same manner,” said Alvarez. “I'm going into this fight with zero expectations. I don't know how it's going to go down, I just know my hand is going to be raised when it's said and done.”">Read entire article...

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tags: Eddie Alvarez (detail)  Shinya Aoki   video   



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Recent Comments »

CaptChaos site profile image  

4/20/12 5:32 PM by CaptChaos

Eddie better not worry about his own ground game. The only thing he should be doing if it goes to the ground is betting back to his feet... No kicks - just hands. Follow Gilbert's game plan plain and simple. Go to the ground and you will be in danger...

N9K site profile image  

4/20/12 4:41 PM by N9K

If they allowed offensive butt scooting here in the US Aoki would dominate. It's pretty crazy how Eddie was full on running away from a guy scooting at him on his butt. One of the all time best executions of a strategy by Aoki.

Acidic site profile image  

4/20/12 2:27 PM by Acidic

 War Aoki!! No ones JJ is on the level of Aokis imo in MMA

truewrestler site profile image  

4/20/12 1:41 PM by truewrestler

That is one of the most painful finishes I've seen with the way his leg was twisted--even compared to Imanari fights I've seen.

Matrixkick site profile image  

4/20/12 12:35 PM by Matrixkick

In for Aoki's ass kickin! WAR Eddie!

stonepony site profile image  

4/20/12 12:22 PM by stonepony

Easy win for Alvarez. Let's get to the rematch with Chandler already. That was a hell of a fight.



 

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