The pressure weighing on Alvarez after losing his belt this past November to Michael Chandler – and at the tail end of his contract – seemed to have no effect on his performance. As expected, Aoki dove at his legs in an attempt to reproduce the submission that forced him to cry uncle four years ago in Japan under the DREAM banner. But he rejected that attempt, walking to the other corner of the cage, and waited for the right moment to strike.
Pawing out with faux-strikes, he prompted Aoki to take a risk with an uncharacteristic elbow strike out of the blue. In response, he uncorked an uppercut that dropped the submission specialist. Aoki seemed confused and unprepared for a lunging overhead punch that caught him on the temple and prompted a swarm of punches from Alvarez that forced referee intervention at the 2:14 mark of the first.
In reality, though, Aoki's corner had thrown in the towel several beats before the official wave-off.
With a big bargaining chip hanging around his neck, Alvarez implored his boss to come over the top of a perhaps inevitable offer from the UFC, which has long hovered as an option for the popular fighter. Rebney had previously told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he was pulling for the first Bellator champ, but would be firm in making him fight through a tournament to get a rematch with Chandler.
Eddie Alvarez defeated Shinya Aoki by TKO (Punches, Round 1, )
Andreas Spang defeated Brian Rogers by TKO (Punches, Round 2, )
Maiquel Falcao defeated Vyacheslav Vasilevsky by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Rick Hawn defeated Lloyd Woodard by TKO (Punches, Round 2, 0:10)
Brent Weedman defeated Thiago Michel by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Julian Lane defeated Joe Heiland by submission (Guillotine choke, Round 1, 2:49)
John Hawk defeated Marcus Vanttinen by Split Decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Attila Vegh defeated Dan Spohn via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Frank Carabello defeated Donny Walker by Knockout (Knee, Round 4, 2:25)
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