Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez may get his wish for a rematch with Dream champion Shinya Aoki as soon as early 2012. Aoki faced Alvarez in a Dream title fight on New Year's Eve 2008, tapping Alvarez by heel hook at 1:32 of the first round.
Bellator is famous for insisting that title challengers go through their tournament format. Hence the non-title format. Alvarez will next defend his belt against season 4 tournament winner Michael Chandler at Bellator 54 on October 15. Aoki is next scheduled to fight at Dream 17 against former WEC lightweight champion Rob McCullough on September 24 in Japan.
Aoki most recently choked out Rich Clementi at Dream: Fight for Japan in May. He's 1-1 fighting on American soil, having split a pair of Strikeforce bouts, losing to Gilbert Melendez and beating Lyle Beerbohm. Alvarez most recently defended his title against Pat Curran at Bellator 39 in April. Curran proved a tough opponent for the champ.