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Aoki taps out Alvarez to win WAMMA lightweight title

Shinya Aoki became the first ever WAMMA lightweight champ at "Dynamite!! 2008" on New Year's Eve in Saitama, Japan.

Aoki pulled the upset over Eddie Alvarez with a first-round heel hook submission in a fight between the two DREAM Lightweight Finalists if the scenario was that fighters didn't have to compete more than once in one night.

The bout opened with the lightweights circling for the first fifteen seconds until Aoki throws and lands a kick to the body. Alvarez lets his hands go with two fast jabs that Aoki avoids.

Aoki shot in for the takedown but Alvarez defends. Upon the failed attempt, Aoki pulls guard and butt-scoots. Aokistalks Alvarez in that position and when Alvarez jogs away, Aoki throws a right kick that is blocked. Aoki reverts back to butt-scooting until the referee calls for Aoki to stand.

Alvarez throws a right kick that is caught by Aoki, who tries to control Alvarez's back. Alvarez doesn't allow that to happen and pulls of a nice hip toss to momentarily mount Aoki. But Aoki quickly escapes to guard and immediately goes for a leglock and taps out Alvarez with a heel hook.

Alvarez was helped out with ice packs wrapped on his right knee.

"I was frightened to face him before the fight," Aoki said on the DREAM website. "When our fight started he put so much pressure on me and I felt that he might kill me if I got punched."

Alvarez's record falls to 15-2 and ends his year with a loss which will likely cost him any chance at the Fighter of the Year honor.

Aoki improves to 19-3 and redeems himself for losing in the finals of the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix.

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