UPDATE: Sherdog has backed off its initial report and is now claiming that the fight is in the “works.”
A lightweight bout featuring top five lightweights Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki is now set to take place on New Year’s Eve in Japan at FEG’s “Dynamaite!!” event, according to a new report by Sherdog.
Sherdog, citing Alvarez’s manager, Monte Cox, as the primary source for the report, stated that verbal agreements from both Aoki and Alvarez have been secured.
Aoki and Alvarez were originally scheduled to meet during the finals of DREAM’s lightweight Grand Prix that was held over the course of the last year. However, despite going 3-0 in the tournament, Alvarez was forced to withdraw from the finals due to facial injuries sustained in a semifinal TKO victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri.
After defeating Caol Uno in the semifinals, Aoki was matched up against Joachim Hansen, who had been eliminated from the Grand Prix following a second round loss to Alvarez but was given a second chance after winning a tournament reserve bout.
In addition to Alvarez vs. Aoki, “Dynamite!!,” which is scheduled to emanate from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, the show will also feature Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Kiyoshi Tamura and Hansen, the promotion’s lightweight champion, taking on Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante in a non-title encounter.
Published reports out of Japan also indicate that the combined DREAM and K-1 show will feature appearances by Olympic Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii and Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson.
Sherdog is also reporting that Alvarez is still scheduled to compete in the States on January 23 for Cox’s Extreme Challenge promotion in Atlantic City, N.J.