Believe it or not, this epic rematch is just over a week away.
It's easy to see how Bellator 66, featuring Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki II on April 20, 2012 from the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio, may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Aside from the weekly Bellator events to keep us busy, it's also sandwiched between UFC on FUEL TV 2: "Gustafsson vs. Silva" on April 14 and UFC 145: "Jones vs. Evans" on April 21.
But you won't want to miss their second go-round next Friday night on MTV2.
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 Michael Chandler -- will be moving on without him.
In fact, the newly-crowned champ takes on Akihiro Gono on May 4 in Ontario.
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?
Time will tell.