John AlessioSince being released from Zuffa’s promotions in 2008, John “The Natural” Alessio has had only one thought on his mind, getting back there and proving that not only does he belong there, but that he can be someone to be reckoned with in the company.

So when he was contacted to replace Matt Wiman at UFC 145 on April 21 in Atlanta, you can only imagine how excited he was.

“It was just an unbelievable feeling,” Alessio told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been working so hard for years and I saw this email with Joe Silva’s name on it and I thought to myself, ‘This guy doesn’t email me for nothing.’

“I was at the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned, and I wanted to get out of the chair and run to the gym,” he laughed. “It was just an unbelievable feeling.”

For Alessio it doesn’t matter how he got his shot, it’s that he got it at all after four years of working to get back.

“Ideally it would be great to have eight to 10 weeks to prepare for any fight, but I came off a fight on March 16, so I just had about two weeks of rest and got the phone call, so it kind of worked out on short notice pretty good for me,” he said.

“I wish Matt Wiman all the best and a quick recovery because he’s a great fighter, but I’m glad I got the call to step in. I would have taken it on less notice (to get back in to the UFC.)”

Having made wholesale changes in his personal life since last fighting for the company, Alessio’s biggest move may have been his decision to drop to lightweight, which has produced wins over two very tough opponents in Luiz “Buscape” Firmino and Pat Healy.

Alessio’s UFC return won’t be any easier as he takes on Mark Bocek on April 21.

“There’s no secret what Bocek wants to do: He wants this fight to be on the ground, be on top, controlling the fight, and constantly looking for submissions,” said Alessio. “He’s not a vicious ground and pounder, but I’m sure he’s improving on that and improving on his stand-up.

“With that being said, I feel I’m a better striker and I’m going to try like hell to exploit him on his feet. I’m sure the fight will go to the ground eventually, but I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu for a very long time as well and neutralize his game there.”

For Alessio, being back in the promotion isn’t enough, he knows he’s got to stand out if he’s going to remain there and make a run in the 155-pound division.

“We all know my record in the UFC isn’t great, so my whole plan is to go out there and get the win by any means necessary,” he said. “But most of all, I want this fight to be exciting. I want to put on a great show and impress the fans and the UFC so I can guarantee staying in the company.

“I’ve been working hard, but it gets a lot harder from here on out. The competition is stiffer. Let’s be honest, the guys in the UFC are the best in the world, so if I want to stick around I have to get even better, so it’s a whole new motivation.”

For more UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Pedro Rizzo returns to MMA in September, faces veteran Travis Fulton in Brazil

  • 7 days ago
  • 8 views

Pedro Rizzo will make his return to MMA in September. The former UFC heavyweight contender, who hasn’t fought since May of 2013, is scheduled to face Travis Fulton in the main event of Face to Face i read news >>

George Sullivan faces newcomer Dominic Waters at TUF 21 Finale

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

With Marcio Alexandre Jr. out of the TUF 21 Finale, George Sullivan now meets UFC newcomer Dominic Waters.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Pudzianowski returns against Peter Graham at KSW’s debut event in London

  • 25 days ago
  • 43 views

Top heavyweight star Mariusz Pudzianowski is officially scheduled to take part in the KSW: Road to Wembley event against Peter Graham. Top Polish promotion KSW is set to host their first internationa read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants Claudia Gadelha rematch: 'I'm going to win easy this time'

  • 26 days ago
  • 20 views

UFC strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk doesn't mind admitting she has a rooting interest in the UFC 190 No. 1 contender's fight between Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Aguliar. The champ is pulling for read news >>

Riggs vs. Hall Set for Nashville

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Nashville gets another intriguing matchup for its August 8 event, as veteran Joe Riggs returns to middleweight to face former Ultimate Fighter finalist Uriah Hall. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 74 Gets Sam Stout and Frankie Perez in Lightweight Bout

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

When the UFC returns to Canada in August, entertaining Canadian lightweight Sam Stout will be there to get his home crowd going. Standing opposite Stout at UFC Fight Night 74 will be Frankie Perez, a read news >>

UFC Returns to Ireland in October, and Conor McGregor Wants in

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC officials on Wednesday announced their intention to hold another card in Dublin, Ireland. And guess what? Conor McGregor is hoping to be the headliner. The initial news came from UFC officials We read news >>

Women's MMA Report: VanZant returns at UFC 191, Moroz vs. Letourneau set for Saskatoon

  • 29 days ago
  • 12 views

Fast-rising strawweight star Paige VanZant steps back into the octagon for her next fight on Sept. 5 at UFC 191 in Las Vegas. Plus, get the latest women’s MMA news from around the globe. Filed under: read news >>

TUF 21 results, recap (Ep. 11) for 'ATT vs. Blackzilians'

  • 29 days ago
  • 62 views

It's all about that momentum... The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21 returns to FOX Sports 1 later night (Weds., July 1, 2015) at 10 p.m. ET, featuring episode 11 of the combat sports reality show, pitting read news >>

UFC returns to Dublin on October 24 for Fight Night event

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 views

With International Fight Week approaching and the week's star attraction Conor McGregor carrying the country of Ireland on his back, it only makes sense the UFC would announce a return to Dublin in 2 read news >>