John Alessio Returns, but Faces No Easy Task in Mark Bocek at UFC 145


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

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 views

Four years ago, Mark Hunt was getting submitted by Sean McCorkle on the prelims. Now, Hunt is a Top 10 heavyweight who became the first fighter to knock Roy Nelson out in a UFC bout on Saturday. The read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Former Bellator MMA fighters Joe Riggs and Ben Saunders will square off at UFC on Fox 13 on Dec. 13. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

More than eight years after their first meeting, UFC heavyweights Mark Hunt and Josh Barnett appear ready for a rematch.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 41 views

"Who says you can't go home again?" After sitting on the sidelines for almost a year, Nate Diaz will return to the Octagon to face Rafael dos Anjos in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 13, which goes d read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 3 views

Conor McGregor was in full form following his first-round win over Dustin Poirier, breaking down the UFC featherweight division in a way that's become his calling card. read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

Former World Series of Fighting welterweight title contender Josh Burkman has signed with the UFC. read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 1 views

Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will return to the Octagon with a fight against Mitch Gagnon on Dec. 20, officials announced on Wednesday evening. read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 0 views

Dan Miller will finally make his return to the Octagon. After a 1-1 run in the welterweight division, Miller will move back to 185 pounds to face TUF: Brazil’s Daniel Sarafian at UFC Fight Night 58 i read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 views

John Moraga will look for his second straight win when he squares off against Jussier Formiga in a flyweight contest at UFC on FOX 13 on Dec. 13 in Phoenix, according to UFC officials Monday. Moraga read news >>