Oh boy! Usually when you talk about the best mixed martial artists in the world squaring off, you automatically think of someone in the UFC. Not this time. Bellator 66 is headlined by two of the best lightweights in the world as former champion Eddie Alvarez looks to avenge his 2008 loss to super-duper submission specialist Shinya Aoki. These are two of the best fighters in the world that the Zuffa umbrella (UFC & Strikeforce) has yet to get their mitts on. When they last met on Dec. 31, 2008, at Dynamite!! 2008–the biggest MMA card in the country–Aoki swiftly submitted Alvarez with a nasty heel hook. It’s been three years and now Alvarez looks to get his revenge.
Look, this fight is badass. Since losing to Aoki, Alvarez has gone an impressive 7-1 and was the Bellator lightweight champ before losing in a “Holy S***” showdown with Michael Chandler last year. He can punch your face off or submit you, and that makes Alvarez a lethal foe. Meanwhile, Aoki has gone 11-2 and his nasty assortment of submissions has nearly torn limbs off his opponents’ frames. Seriously. It’s tap or snap with Aoki, and most will choose tap because they know he will snap whatever it is he gets a hold of. We’re grown ass men and just thinking about the fight gives us goosebumps.
The rest of the card will feature the middleweight tournament semifinals as Brian Rogers looks to add another highlight reel knockout to his résumé when he faces Andreas Spang. Maiquel Falcao will square off with Vyacheslav Vasilevsky in a fight where the winner’s name will get you a ton points on Scrabble. Rick Hawn and Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard (love that guy’s nickname) will also beat each other up in the lightweight semifinals.
Buckle up, people. This one is going to be fun. Bellator 66 airs tonight at 8 PM EST on MTV 2.