EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SCC FIGHTER JOHN ALESSIO-VIDEO
John Alessio will be dropping down to lightweight this Friday November 4th against Luiz Firmino at the MAIN EVENT for SCC 3. Pictures of John Alessio training can be seen at the bottom of this post and were shot by Proper Monkey Photography. MMABADASS.COM videographer Scott Minshall not only made this video (multi-talented) but had this to say…
Veteran Alessio cutting weight placing himself in more competitive division
John Alessio is debuting in lightweight division at SCC 3 hoping to raise the eyebrows of the UFC.
By Scott Minshall
For one MMA fighter, cutting weight and entering a new division may be his key back into the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A former 170 pounder in the welterweight division is slated to have his first fight at 155 pounds in the lightweight division at an upcoming Las Vegas bout.
John Alessio has been fighting at welterweight since he began his pro career in 1998. With three previous fights in the UFC, he has been successful in smaller organizations since his release from the UFC in 2008. A 13-5 record has kept his name and reputation known in the MMA world.
The lightweight division will give Alessio a better chance for success, he said, and perhaps a shot at reigniting his UFC career. Alessio (32-14) is scheduled to fight Luiz Firmino (20-5) Nov. 4 in the main event fight at Superior Cage Combat 3 at the Orleans Arena.
Alessio says his diet and training are going well.
“I feel awesome,” he said. “Probably the best I’ve felt in a long time.”
After his last fight in August, he went up to around 180 pounds but quickly lost it, because he immediately went back to training. Alessio changed his diet to take off the weight, which on Oct. 18 was 170 pounds. He is on an 85 percent vegetarian diet, which includes lots of fruits, vegetables and portioned chicken for protein.
He is ahead of schedule with his training and weight cut, he said, and will continue with his regimen to shed the weight. He plans to lose the last couple of pounds the day of the weigh-ins.
Alessio has noticed his recuperation is faster after his training sessions because of his diet, but he fears one old nemesis: He says his immune system breaks down a lot when he’s training for a big fight, and he tends to get sick, He will just knock on wood and hope it doesn’t happen.
Moving down to a lighter division will mean smaller and quicker fighters. Alessio has been sparring with 155 pounders to ready himself for the speed of his opponent in the lightweight division.
“I’ve always been fairly quick when I need to be,” he said. “I’m very relaxed out there, but I react fast.”
Coming off a victory at SCC 2 in August, where he defeated Shawn Fitzsimmons by submission in the welterweight division, Alessio says he wants to prove himself in the lightweight division.
“You can see that he really wants to improve and wants to do well in this division,” says Gil Martinez, Alessio’s boxing coach. “It’s a very stacked division.”
A UFC veteran, Alessio says he has never had the best of luck with the MMA Juggernaut, and he will do anything, including taking a fight on a short notice, to get back into the octagon. He had to pass on an opportunity last year because he was already under contract with another organization, but he is ready to try again.
Moving back up to welterweight is something he would consider if another opportunity arose with the UFC, but doesn’t want to take on a larger welterweight. Alessio has always been small in the welterweight division, given his frame size.
“If the opponent was right. I would definitely take the opportunity.” he said.
Alessio has trained at gyms such as the Lion’s Den, the Shark Tank, Jeremy Horn’s Elite Performance and Miletich Fighting Systems. He said that training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas has been the best training camp he has experienced, because he is treated like a professional athlete.
Alessio likes the team atmosphere at Xtreme Couture, he said, and thinks it will show through in his team’s fights.
“When you have a whole team believing in you, your confidence will go up,” Alessio said. “The sky is the limit, and you will see the results soon with other fighters in the Xtreme Couture camp having upcoming title fights. There is a possibility of two Bellator champions by the end of November.”