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Does Bellator Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez Have A Point To Prove Tonight Against Josh Neer?

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Steve Cofield makes the case over at Cagewriter, bascially citing that most of Alvarez's success occured over in Japan where Alvarez lost to Shinya Aoki in 2008.  Of course, Aoki got dominated by MMA For Real's #10 lightweight(his ranking at the time) Gilbert Melendez last month.  So does Alvarez need a strong performance to hold onto his top 5 spot in the rankings tonight?

So what did the lackluster performance by Aoki say about fighting in Japan? You shouldn't judge the entire product by one fight but the Aoki flop didn't speak well for DREAM and Sengoku.

American Eddie Alvarez is another guy who's built most of his reputation on what he's done in Japan. So where do we go if Alvarez can't get by UFC castoff Josh Neer? Neer (27-9, 4-6 UFC) and Alvarez (19-2) hook up at 160 pounds tonight at Bellator 17. Neer's UFC losses (Gleison Tibau, Nate Diaz, Kurt Pellegrino, Nick Diaz, Josh Burkman, Drew Fickett) are from embarrassing but he's been a guy who just can't turn the corner. Alvarez should handle him easily, correct? 

What say you peoples?  Also, make sure to join us tonight for the Bellator 17 open thread and discussion.  It'll be posted in a bit.

SBN coverage of Bellator XVII