“I am ready” – Shinya Aoki willing to do a trilogy fight with Eddie Alvarez

Shinya Aoki (right) doesn't mind facing Eddie Alvarez (left) for a third time. [Photos ONE Championship]
Shinya Aoki (right) doesn't mind facing Eddie Alvarez (left) for a third time. [Photos ONE Championship]

Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez have faced each other twice in as many promotions and both hold wins over each other. The Japanese veteran won the first meeting via submission in 2008, while 'The Underground King' took the second in 2012 via technical knockout.

The two fighters don’t have a rivalry, per se, but a tiebreaker seems to be necessary. With that said, 'Tobikan Judan' feels that he’s ready to stamp a definitive end to the series.

In an interview with ONE Championship, Aoki said he's willing to complete a trilogy with the former UFC lightweight champion.

“I think yeah, I am ready, I'm okay to do a trilogy against Eddie Alvarez, anytime.”

The two first fought in K-1 Dynamite, with Aoki submitting Alvarez via heel hook less than two minutes into the first round. In doing so, he became the inaugural World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts champion.

It took another four years for their rematch to happen. It was Alvarez's turn to have his hand raised as he stopped the Japanese grappler just over two minutes into the first round at Bellator 66 in April 2012.

Aoki, who’ll face Yoshihiro Akiyama on ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary card, ONE X, and Alvarez are two of the most respected fighters in the sport. As such, a trilogy bout is sure to draw attention to their respective pedigrees.

Alvarez won lightweight titles in both the UFC and Bellator. Aoki, meanwhile, is a two-time ONE lightweight world champion and was also a titleholder in DREAM, Shooto and WAMMA.

Shinya Aoki pushing for a streak

Submission artist Shinya Aoki (47-9) has been tearing it up. He's on a four-fight winning streak that's catapulted him to the No.3 spot in the lightweight rankings.

The 38-year-old has defeated Honorio Banario, Kimihiro Eto, James Nakashima and multi-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang during his streak. Only Eto survived to hear the final bell.

A win over Akiyama at ONE X will push Aoki's winning streak to five matches, putting him in prime position to challenge for the lightweight belt once again, a title he held twice already.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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