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Winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki to be recognized as WAMMA lightweight champion

A lightweight encounter between Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki scheduled for FEG’sDynamite!!” event on New Year’s Eve in Japan will determine the first-ever World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts lightweight champion.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that the Alvarez vs. Aoki bout was under consideration to be for the vacant WAMMA lightweight title. learned Monday morning through a press release issued by WAMMA that the organization will be recognizing the Alvarez vs. Aoki winner as its lightweight champion.

The release goes on to state that a belt will not be presented to the winner immediately after the conclusion of the contest. Instead, the winner will receive the championship belt during a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Alvarez was a two-time All-American high school wrestler at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia and has gone 15-1 since becoming a professional mixed martial artist. A former BodogFIGHT welterweight champion, Alvarez made the decision to drop to the lightweight division earlier this year.

Starting with a 165 pound catchweight bout during a Jan. 25 ShoXC event in Atlantic City, N.J., the 24-year old father of two has gone 4-0 as a lightweight. The undefeated streak includes a 3-0 run during DREAM’s lightweight Grand Prix that only ended after Alvarez was unable to receive medical clearance to compete in the finals.

Aoki is 18-3 and widely regarded as one of the top submission fighters in MMA with black belts in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 25-year old Japan native has earned his number three WAMMA lightweight ranking with notable victories over current DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen; Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante; former two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Caol Uno; and former Shooto middleweight champion Akira Kikuchi.

Alvarez and Aoki had been scheduled to compete during the finals of the DREAM lightweight Grand Prix but Hansen, and injury reserve, replaced the injured Alvarez. Hansen became the DREAM lightweight champion after TKO’ing Aoki in the first round even though he had been eliminated earlier in the tournament by Alvarez. President and Publisher Sam Caplan serves as the chair for WAMMA’s ranking committee.

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