Former lightweight champ gets revenge for December 2008 loss
Eddie Alvarez made quick work Friday of one of only three fighters who have beaten him in more than eight years.
The former Bellator lightweight champion landed a right hand in the first round that dropped Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. Alvarez moved in quickly and delivered enough ground-and-pound to get a stoppage just 2:14 into the superfight at Bellator 66 in Cleveland.
Alvarez (22-3, 7-1 Bellator) was fighting for the first time since losing his Bellator lightweight title to Michael Chandler in November in one of 2011's best fights. The win avenged a December 2008 Dream loss to Aoki in which the Japanese submission specialist forced the Philadelphia-based fighter to tap to a heel hook in the first round.
Aoki (30-6, 1 NC) lost for the first time in two years, seeing a seven-fight winning streak with five submissions come to an end. His last loss came in April 2010 in a Strikeforce lightweight title fight against Gilbert Melendez, who took him five rounds and swept the judges' scorecards.
"Eddie Alvarez once again showed why he is one of the best lightweights in the world," Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a statement.
In other action on the card at Cleveland's I-X Center, the Bellator Season 6 middleweight and lightweight tournament finals are set. Andreas Spang and former UFC fighter Maiquel Falcao moved into the middleweight finals. Spang beat Brian Rogers with a second-round TKO. And Falcao picked up a unanimous decision victory over Vyacheslav Vasilevsky.
And in the lightweight finals, Rick Hawn will face Brent Weedman. Hawn, a 2004 Olympian in judo, landed a big right against Lloyd Woodard immediately into the second round and got a referee stoppage just 10 seconds into the frame. Weedman needed to go to the judges against Thiago Michel and picked up a split decision victory to move on.