From today's release:
"This really is the perfect scenario for me," Alvarez said. "I need to redeem myself, and I can't think of a better way to do it than avenging my loss to Aoki in 2008. I'm glad I'm able to get back on the horse and fight someone of his caliber right away."
"Ed asked me to secure this rematch for him years ago," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "I promised I would, and now it's official. Anytime you can put two of the world's Top 10s in the cage together at the pinnacle of their careers, you've got a very special fight on your hands - and that's exactly what we will see in Cleveland April 20th."
Alvarez first met Aoki while battling for the WAMMA lightweight title back at Dynamite!! 2008, the special New Year's Eve supershow from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The bout featured 92 seconds of blistering action which included some classic Aoki butt-scooting, Alvarez loading up with a big right hand, a huge takedown into mount by Alvarez during a scramble and then "The Tobikan Judan" somehow reversing the position into a heel hook -- which eventually forced the tap after some strong resistance from the Philadelphia native.
It's payback time.
It appears Alvarez has chosen an opportunity for instant revenge over having to win three consecutive fights in the lightweight tournament first, meaning Bellator's 155-pound division -- and Chandler -- will be moving on without him.
After dropping a lackluster unanimous decision to Gilbert Melendez at the Strikeforce: "Nashville" event back in early 2010, Aoki has won seven straight fights with five nasty submissions. But can he keep the streak going against Alvarez, who is probably still smarting from his upset loss to Chandler?
Early predictions on this epic rematch?