It didn't live up to the expectations for which most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans hoped, but the showdown last night (April 20, 2012) between two of the top Lightweight fighters in the world not on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster at least ended definitively once again.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki headlined the Bellator 66 fight card from the IX Center in Cleveland, Ohio, setting up a rematch four years in the making. Back in 2008, Aoki -- perhaps the most dangerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist in the entire sport -- latched onto Alvarez's ankle at the Dynamite!! year end show and forced the Philadelphia fighter to tap to a heel hook just 90 seconds into their bout.
This one lasted, literally, a few seconds longer, but this time it was Alvarez who was celebrating in victory.
Aoki, for whatever reason, took his time trying to take the fight down to the ground, which ultimately proved to be his undoing. Alvarez clipped him with a short right hand, stunning the "Tobikan Judan" as he fell to the canvas. Alvarez carefully waded in, picked his spot and drilled the Japanese fighter with another, more devastating, clean right hook.
Aoki, at this point clearly dazed, then went into straight defense mode as Alvarez furiously went for the finish, which came quickly thereafter. Aoki was apparently in so much trouble that his corner made the rare move to throw in the towel; however, the referee stopped the fight even though he didn't see the obvious sign of mercy.
Anyone interested in seeing a trilogy match?
For a detailed play-by-play results of the fight between Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki be sure to check out our complete Bellator 66 results post right here. And to check out our complete recap of the main event action on MTV2 click here.