John Alessio could easily be described as one of the best welterweights not currently fighting in the UFC. The 28-year old fighter got his jump into mixed martial arts at the young age of 19 and hasn’t looked back since. In the nine years that Alessio has been in the business he has waged combat well over thirty times while fighting some of the biggest names in the sport. The fact that he has not suffered a loss in his last six bouts with his most recent two victories coming over UFC veterans even further solidifies the argument that Alessio is ready and worthy to fight the best competition there is to offer.
The Xtreme Couture fighter will have yet another opportunity to prove that he is among the best the division has to offer when he faces off with extremely dangerous Muay Thai specialist Paul Daley at MFC 19 “A Long Time Coming” on December 5. The bout will showcase two of the welterweight division’s best unsigned talents in a match where the winner’s stock is sure to rise significantly.
There have been no hitches in preparing for Daley. Alessio told FiveOncesOfPain.com in an exclusive interview that he will be be 100% ready to go when the bell sounds.
“I feel good, things have been going just as planned,” said Alessio. “Training camp has been going just the way I wanted it to go and my conditioning is right where it needs to be so I’m ready to go.”
Alessio knows that he will be in for a test come Dec. 5. Daley is as dangerous as they come on the feet and showed much improved wrestling in his last fight with Jake Shields.
“Paul Daley is one scrappy dude,” the experienced welterweight said. “He comes in with really good striking, he’s a really good athlete and he has pretty good takedown defense”
While acknowledging that his opponent poses an interesting challenge with his top notch striking, Alessio feels it will be a challenge that he can handle.
“He’s still a fairly one dimensional fighter,” said Alessio. “I don’t feel that his jiu-jitsu and his wrestling is up to par with his striking ability but it is a mixed martial arts fight and I plan on going out there and giving him the business in all aspects of the game.”
Being comfortable in all areas is definitely an advantage to any fighter. Alessio feels that his ability to fight well in all areas of the sport will be the difference in his bout with Daley.
“Just looking at it on paper, I would have to go with me as being the more well rounded athlete and mixed martial artist,” explained Alessio. “I definitely think my wrestling and jiu-jitsu is better than his.”
Although Daley has become accustomed to defending against the takedown almost immediately in most of his fights, Alessio says he will not have to worry about it this time around. The WEC and UFC veteran is eager to see what he can do against a striker of Daley’s caliber and made it known that the Cage Rage champion won’t have to look very hard to find him on the feet.
“He’s been fighting Muay Thai for a long time,” said Alessio. “So I’m going to go out there and I’m going to respect his stand up and at the same time I want to test myself.”
“I’m a very well rounded athlete so I’ll take the fight where it needs to go but I’m looking to stand and trade with Daley to make this an exciting fight.”
There is a reason for the brash confidence displayed by Alessio when it comes to his faith in his striking ability. The 28-year old fighter has shown increasingly sharp stand up since training with Shawn Tompkins at Xtreme Couture and finished his previous bout with Gideon Ray in less than a minute due to strikes.
“I want to go out there and mix it up with him,” said Alessio. “I’m looking to mix it up a little on my feet and test myself and see how my training’s been going. I’ve been working really hard with Shawn Tompkins for a while now.”
“My last fight went really good as far as the stand up was concerned. It was a forty second knockout so I’m feeling really confident on my feet and I plan on carrying that over to this fight.”
Born and raised in Canada, Alessio is eager to have the opportunity to perform in front of his native fans at MFC 19. The fact that will be facing such a dangerous and highly regarded opponent only has him more excited and anxious to put on a great show in what will be one of the biggest welterweight fights to have ever taken place on Canadian soil.
“This is probably Canada’s biggest welterweight ever, really,” said Alessio. “Outside of the Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra fight this is probably the biggest welterweight fight to come out of Canada.
“MFC came to together to put on this welterweight superfight and I plan on going out there and giving my hometown Canadian fans a good fight to watch.
“I just want it to be entertaining and for everyone to come out of there and say, ‘Wow! That John Alessio and Paul Daley sure put on one hell of a fight.’ That’s what I’m looking for but of course I want my hand raised at the end of the fight.”
Alessio isn’t picky about the way he goes about obtaining victory in his bout with Daley. For him, victory itself is the only concern.
“I definitely visualize this fight, like most of my fights, my hands raised at the end of the fight,” said Alessio. “Whether it come by knockout or submission or good old ground and pound TKO, I plan on the victory.”
The bout with Daley will mark the second time Alessio has fought in less than two months. Never known to take long breaks between fights, he just wants to compete as often as possible.
“It has to do a little with how short my last fight was but if you look at my record you can see that I stay pretty busy throughout my career,” Alessio explained. “This will be my fourth fight this year but it would have been my fifth or sixth if it wasn’t for the broken arm with Pete Spratt. That was the first time I was really sidelined for a while and not be able to train for a fight.”
“My thing is, as soon as I finish a fight, I’m looking to sign for my next fight. As soon as I step out of the ring I want to know when I’m fighting again. Whether it’s in five weeks to eight weeks to three weeks, I’m happy. Just keep me in the cage.”
Amidst the turbulent demise of EliteXC there is an abundance of talent that has been left without a place to fight making essentially making them free agents. If a draft was held to disperse all of the newly available talent, Alessio would be one of the top picks at welterweight.
“I’m a free agent right now,” said Alessio. “I had a three fight deal with EliteXC and they went under which basically makes me a free agent again. So I’m a free agent and I’m just looking to keep going out there and kicking ass and eventually see what happens with the WEC and UFC.”
Alessio admits he had his share of bad luck before when he came to the UFC but he would like the opportunity to right those wrongs and show the world that he can compete and win at the highest level.
“I would love to get another crack in the UFC,” said the veteran. “Unfortunately my UFC run hasn’t been very good.
“My first fight in the UFC I got fed to the wolves against against Pat Miletich when I was twenty. Then there was Diego Sanchez and people argue that fight. It could have gone either way in the decision. Then I fought Thiago Alves and Thiago just plain old beat me. It went to a decision but he definitely won that fight. My hat’s off to him and he’s a hell of a welterweight.”
That was then and this is now according to Alessio. He can see plenty of guys currently competing in the UFC’s welterweight division that he doesn’t feel belong in the same cage with him.
“Especially now with all of these guys coming off the TV shows and all of these welterweights that they have going on,” said the seasoned fighter. “I just see so many of them that I would just dismantle in the first round.”
“I don’t mean to sound cocky but they just have so many guys that I don’t think are at what people consider that UFC level.”
Whether it’s the UFC or the WEC, Alessio just wants to scrap. If the WEC should happen to call there is one guy he’s definitely been meaning to set the record straight with.
“I would definitely like to get back in there and make a name for myself in the UFC but I definitely have some unfinished business in the WEC as well,” said Alessio. “Me and Brock Larson need to probably get down one more time and I’d like another shot at that title so we’ll see what the future holds.”
There were a few people that John Alessio wanted to thank for helping him during his career.
“Always a big shout out to Tapout. There always with me and always supporting me. Steve Lara from Home Loans. They’ve always been a big help for me, they’re always helping me out and helping my dream come true as a fighter. Of course all of my friends and family that are always there to support me, always coming to all of my fights no matter where they are. I thank them very much.”