Sherdog reports that Aoki, a great Japanese submission specialist, and Alvarez, an exciting brawler from Philadelphia, have verbally agreed to fight each other at the K-1 Premium 2008 Dynamite show on December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena.
Aoki vs. Alvarez would have been the final of this year's Dream lightweight tournament, but fans were denied the chance to see that fight when Alvarez suffered a nasty eye injury in the semifinal. Aoki ended up losing the final to Joachim Hansen, who had lost to Alvarez earlier in the tournament.
Hansen is scheduled to fight JZ Calvan on New Year's Eve, which means the Dynamite show has the two best lightweight fights MMA fans are going to see for the foreseeable future. With UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn moving up to welterweight to fight Georges St. Pierre next month, the balance of power in the MMA lightweight division has shifted decisively to Japan. Aoki-Alvarez is the latest example.
Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez Added to Dynamite New Year's Eve Show originally appeared on MMA FanHouse on Tue, 02 Dec 2008 10:14:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.