Injured Alvarez Sidelined, Jan. 23 Replacement Bout Forthcoming

By Loretta Hunt Jan 7, 2009
Dream ace Eddie Alvarez will not be able to keep his appointment with ZST standout Naoyuki Kotani in a lightweight contest scheduled to main event Extreme Challenge “War at the Shore” on Jan. 23 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

Alvarez (15-2) sustained a leg injury during his brief encounter with submission expert Shinya Aoki at K-1 “Premium Dynamite 2008” on New Year’s Eve and has been forced to withdraw. The wily Japanese groundsman ensnared Alvarez’s leg in the bout’s opening moments, forcing the tapout to a heelhook at 1:33. The loss was Alvarez’s second to date.

Though an MRI has revealed no tears or other substantial damage to Alvarez’s knee, the popular Philadelphia-bred fighter said ligaments are “looser than they should be” and he will take the time to recuperate properly, he told Sherdog Radio’s “Beatdown” on Wednesday.

Alvarez (15-2) said if the bout had come a month later he would have been ready to compete.

Extreme Challenge promoter Monte Cox, who also manages Alvarez, said the bout between Alvarez and Kotani will likely be rescheduled for a later date at the same venue. Cox is currently making final arrangements for a new main event.

The 24-year-old dynamo had a banner year in the sport, tallying four victories in a row before he reached Aoki. Two of those wins came to top-caliber competition in Dream lightweight champion Joachim Hansen, who Alvarez decisioned in May, and Tatsuya Kawajiri, who was stopped on strikes in a heated contest for Dream in July.

Alvarez is still under contract for one more fight with Dream, and will enter Bellator Fighting Championships’ eight-man lightweight tournament in April. The newcomer promotion will broadcast 12 weekly events on a one-day tape delay on ESPN Deportes.

Lotfi Sariahmed contributed to this report.
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