So far, former UFC welterweight John “The Natural” Alessio’s move to lightweight has been a successful one with his win over ex-Pride star Luiz “Buscape” Firmino at SCC 3 earlier this month.
“He’s a real tough guy and it was a real tough fight,” said Alessio. “He won the first round, but I was able to rally and pull off the second and third (rounds).
“I knew that going in that I was up for a tough one. It was me trying to do damage, trying to finish the fight at all times that I believe won me the fight.”
Alessio told MMAWeekly.com that he was able to make 155 pounds with without much difficulty, and it paid off against Firmino.
“I was very disciplined,” he said. “I stayed to the plan that Mike Dolce put me on 100-percent. I didn’t steer away from it at all. In the long run it was easy. It was just a matter of staying disciplined.
“I felt great in the fight, too. Don’t get me wrong, I was a little tired in the third round, but that’s because we were battling it out in there. It was a real war of attrition. Overall, I felt really good at that weight, and I’m really excited to stay at that weight.”
Alessio will again test the waters below welterweight as he squares off against Ryan Healy in a 160-pound catchweight match at Score Fighting Series’ upcoming Dec. 3 event, SCC 4, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
“Both of those brothers are really tough guys; there’s no quit in those two,” said Alessio of the Healys. “They come to brawl, they come to fight, and in that respect it’s going to be a tough fight for me.
“Being in such great shape, I feel like I’ll be able to out-strike him, out-strength him, and out-technique him. I’ll stay the course in trying to go for the finish and not let it go to the judges. It’s definitely not an easy fight. It’s not a steppingstone by any means to get me to the next level or whatever.”
Healy’s intangibles will play a role in Alessio’s strategy for the match.
“He can take a beating and come out that next round going for more, so I’m going to fight real smart and technical out there,” said Alessio. “I’m definitely going to use finesse.
“I feel if I push the fight, use my jiu-jitsu and lock something up, he’ll have to tap. If he goes to sleep or I break something that’s on him; I have no problems putting him out.”
If recent history is a window into the future, Alessio may very well be on the verge of a career high in the coming year.
“The last two years have been awesome for me. I’ve won 10 of 11 fights. It just proves how hard I’ve been working,” he said. “I’m continuing to learn every day. I’m not just a fighter who prepares for fights. I’m a guy who is in the gym all the time now trying to learn and evolve and become the best mixed martial artist I can.
“I’m looking to close this year with a big win over Ryan Healy, and am looking to see what 2012 has in store for me. I know no matter where or who I fight, the world is going to see an evolved John Alessio. I feel like I’m just getting started. I’ve got a lot to prove. At 155, I feel like I can do a lot of damage and make a run for the title.”