John “The Natural” Alessio admittedly made a mistake taking his last fight in March. Suffering from the worst injury of his career, Alessio had the kind of performance that not only stopped his momentum, but also looked just plain ugly.
So why fight while injured?
“You know, I asked myself that question for an entire month after the fight,” he said. “Honestly, I blame it on positive motivational books. I was reading these books on being positive, the power of the mind, and reading these testimonials of athletes who worked through injuries and were able to prevail and win medals and stuff.
“It’s one of those things to have an injury and go row or something in the Olympics, and have an injury and go and have an MMA fight. I kind of failed to realize that until I fought. I tried really hard in the fight, but I just couldn’t fight back at all and had kind of a pathetic showing.”
After taking several months of to recuperate, Alessio will get back in the cage for the first time since the March debacle when he takes on Waachiim Spiritwolf at Superior Cage Combat 2 at The Orleans Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
“I’m excited and ready to redeem myself and get back on a win streak,” said Alessio. “I was working so hard to get back to the UFC. I was really focused. I’d been working harder with my coaches on becoming a better, more well-rounded fighter and it was showing in my fights.
“I had a seven-fight winning streak, all of them came by way of finish, and let the UFC know I was serious. Now I’m looking to get back on track right there and do the same thing I was doing before the injury happened.”
Alessio told MMAWeekly.com that his fight with Spiritwolf could be explosive, but don’t expect an all-out brawl.
“It’s a fight I’m looking forward to because he’s a tough guy and I respect his power and strength, but I really feel like with my technique, my cardio and speed will allow me to be victorious,” said Alessio.
“I never really get into shootouts. I pride myself on being more technical, pick my opponents apart, and find that right opening to go in for the kill. I don’t just go in there swinging and hoping I land that one big punch – anybody can do that. I plan on fighting smart and using my head out there.”
Alessio hopes with another couple wins under his belt, he could impress the UFC enough to bring him back. To further increase his chances, he plans to move down in weight where he feels he can dominate.
“I’m dropping to 155 after this fight,” he announced. “I feel at lightweight there’s not too many guys I can’t beat; I feel like I can beat every 155-pounder out there right now.
“Right now, I’m walking around at about 175 pounds and I can make weight at the drop of a dime. I eat very clean right now and very healthy, and if I just watch my carbs and stuff like that night, making 155 pounds actually will be a lot easier than people assume right off the bat.”
Following what he feels was his worst performance, Alessio plans on having one of his best when he returns to action on Aug. 20.
“Come out to Superior Cage Combat 2 here in Las Vegas,” he concluded. “Tickets to the show start at 35 bucks and the card is stacked with UFC veterans and it will be an absolutely great night at The Orleans.
“Expect fireworks in my fight. Spiritwolf bring it, and I’m going to pick him apart and be victorious. This is the first step back on the journey and I’m excited.”