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Alvarez vs. Kotani at Extreme Challenge on Jan. 23

Eddie Alvarez's first opponent of 2009 will be ZST, Rings and UFC veteran Naoyuki Kotani at Extreme Challenge on Jan. 23 at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The new year appears to be a busy period for Alvarez (15-1), who is rumored to fight Shinya Aoki at "Dynamite!!" on New Year's Eve, and after Kotani, Alvarez will compete in the Bellator Fighting Championship tournament on ESPN Deportes.

Alvarez is currently ranked number two in's list of the top lightweights in the world.

Kotani (18-8-6) won last month against Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling Katsuhiko Nagata by heel hook submission at the ZST sixth anniversary show.

Kotani has not been able to of late match the success that he attained in the early 90s. Kotani first tasted defeat against Rich Clementi at the finals of the ZST 2004 Grand Prix and since then, has only won six out of his next 17 fights.

Kotani debuted for the UFC in 2007 losing twice to Thiago Tavares and Dennis Siver.

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