In the semifinals of the Dream 5 lightweight tournament, Eddie Alvarez met Japanese sensation, Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Alvarez had beaten his two previous opponents, Andre Amade, and a tough Joachim Hansen to get to this fight.
The bout began off with both fighters trading blows, Alvarez with cool combinations and Kawajiri with a mixture of leg kicks, knees and punches.
Three minutes in, Alvarez had Kawajiri rocked and was teeing off. But somehow Kawajiri was able to recover and got back up and continued to press on.
Then the bout was quickly stopped for a tiny cut under the eye of Alvarez and then quickly started again.
Then after they began the fight again, Kawajiri knocked down Alvarez and began to turn the tables. Kawajiri then controlled Alvarez for a long amount of time on the ground and began to wear down Alvarez.
Alvarez then got up and both fighters began teeing off. Ironically, commentator Bas Rutten said “It’s like a Rocky movie!” Alvarez is from Philadelphia and is a great boxer. Then again, both fighters started trading blows and got up against the ropes. With both fighters getting hurt over and over, it was Alvarez who began to go off on Kawajiri, knocks him down, thinks the bout is over, and then goes on to to beat him senseless on the ground.
Alvarez was unable to compete in the finals of this tournament due to that cut under his eye, and was replaced by Joachim Hansen, who would go on and beat Shinya Aoki in the finals.
Since this card, Alvarez has gone 7-1 with his only loss coming against Aoki in his next fight at Dynamite!! 2008. Alvarez is currently the Bellator lightweight champion and is set to face Michael Chandler sometime soon.
Kawajiri is 5-2 since this fight with losses to both Aoki and Gilbert Melendez. His most recent bout was against Melendez where he was dominated in the first round and lost by TKO. Kawajiri is set to face Willamy Freire at Dream 17.