Bellator couldn’t get Strikeforce to bite on an Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez super fight, but it looks like they’re going to get their lightweight champ another shot at DREAM lightweight champ Shinya Aoki.

Sherdog is reporting that the fight is in the works for early 2012. has learned that a clash between Bellator and Dream’s respective lightweight champions Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki is being targeted for early 2012 in the Bellator Fighting Championships cage.

Bout agreements have been distributed, and both fighters are expected to sign shortly. confirmed the news with sources close to the situation on Wednesday.

Though both men are reigning champions in opposite organizations, neither title will be up for grabs if and when they clash.

The pair first met in 2008 during Alvarez’s breakout run in DREAM’s lightweight grand prix. Aoki won the fight with a heel hook 92 seconds into the first round.

Alvarez hasn’t lost since, but he hasn’t fought a top ten lightweight since either. Meanwhile, the only lightweight opponent Aoki has lost to since was Gilbert Melendez, however that loss severely damaged his standing in the eyes of American fans as Melendez bullied him around the cage for five straight rounds. Many wrote Aoki off as just another Japanese fighter who couldn’t hack it against strong American wrestlers in a cage. Seems to me that the winner here has a lot to gain.

Image via Daniel Herbertson for Sherdog