UFC 148 Gets Lightweight Showdown Between John Alessio and Shane Roller


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John Alessio and Shane Roller will square off in a lightweight showdown at UFC 148, promotion officials recently announced.

Headlined by a long-anticipated middleweight title rematch between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen, UFC 148 takes place July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and airs live on pay-per-view. In light of bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz suffering a torn ACL, the event will also feature an interim 135-pound title tilt featuring Urijah Faber and a to-be-announced opponent.

Alessio had a three-fight winning streak snapped in his return to the UFC, falling to Mark Bocek in a unanimous decision at UFC 145 last month. The former UFC and WEC welterweight title challenger has lost just twice in the last three years, suffering a knockout defeat to Siyar Bahadurzada in March of 2011 prior to his setback against Bocek. Alessio, 32, began his pro career in 1998 and holds 25 of his 34 victories by either knockout or submission.

Roller will attempt to halt a three-fight losing skid when he next steps into the cage. The Team Takedown representative began 2011 with a come-from-behind knockout of Thiago Tavares but would strike out for the remainder of the year, stumbling against Melvin Guillard and T.J. Grant. The 32-year-old was then outpointed by Michael Johnson on Jan. 28 at UFC on Fox 2, marking the sixth defeat of Roller’s pro career.

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