The Blueprint: Alvarez vs. Aoki II

April 19, 2012

Former Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez clashes with Japanese superstar and reigning DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki Here's the key to success for each fighter, along with some sweet trading cards. Watch the fight live Friday, April 20th at 8/7c on MTV2 and in HD on Epix2.

Alvarez's key to success:

-Stick and move: Alvarez's boxing is top notch, but footwork will be critical on Friday. Aoki will attempt to get the fight to the ground at any cost, even if it means pulling guard and working for submissions and sweeps off his back. The inaugural Bellator champ can avoid this by straying away from planting his feet and brawling, where his legs will be vulnerable for snatching. Alvarez enjoys an enormous striking advantage and can maximize this by staying light on his feet, constantly moving and establishing a jab from onset.

Aoki's key to success:

-Be unpredictable: Aoki knows what he wants to do in each and every fight, and so do his opponents. Even so, few can stop him. Aoki's stand up, although improved, remains a work in progress. Though he won't want to stand and trade with Alvarez, opening with a wild head kick would certainly raise some eyebrows and get his opponent thinking. While plenty fighters stray away from kicks in fear of ending up on their back, Aoki's complete comfort in on the mat allows him to throw anything without positional ramifications. An initial outburst of combos will further aid him in setting up the inevitable takedown and submission attempts.