clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Shinya Aoki Beats Eddie Alvarez

Japan's Shinya Aoki defeated Philadelphia's Eddie Alvarez today at the Dynamite show in Japan, making a strong case that he's the best lightweight in the world outside B.J. Penn.

It was a match that MMA fans have been anticipating for months, ever since Aoki and Alvarez both won their semifinal matches in the Dream lightweight tournament in July. They weren't able to meet in the final because Alvarez suffered an injury, and this fight, in a sense, serves as that long-awaited final. (Aoki ended up losing the final to replacement Joachim Hansen. Hansen was supposed to fight JZ Calvan today, but Hansen had to pull out because he couldn't get medical clearance.)

If Penn moves up to welterweight for more than just his fight with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94, I think it's reasonable to call Aoki the best lightweight in the world. But if Penn stays at lightweight after the St. Pierre fight, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could call Aoki the top lightweight. As great a submission artist as Aoki is, Penn's jiu jitsu is just as dangerous -- and Penn is miles ahead of Aoki as a striker.

Still, Aoki is an exciting, dynamic submission specialist. I look forward to seeing what he does next.

UPDATE: The video is below.

Video: Shinya Aoki submits Eddie Alvarez:

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting