by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Sometimes a major change of pace is what is needed to kick start a stagnating career.

Xtreme Couture welterweight John Alessio knows this first hand, as it’s what he’s done in order to get his MMA career back on track.

He explained to MMAWeekly.com recently, “After losing two in a row, I had to sit back and take a look at what I felt was going wrong with my training and in my personal life.

“I’ve been taking things a lot more serious than before. Now basically I’m just training all the time. I’m not in the club scene anymore at all. I’m just completely 100-percent focused on returning to the UFC.”

When it came to training, Alessio sought the help of jiu-jitsu guru Robert Drysdale, top boxing coach Gil Martinez, and former Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins after deciding his fight game was no longer evolving.

“I wasn’t really working on advancing my game,” he reflected. “I was just kind of falling into a pattern of preparing for a fight, fighting, taking some time off, partying, and then getting back into shape to fight.

“I kind of lost that learning curve in between fights. I just made those changes and just started training harder, staying in the gym between fights, and continuing to learn to grow.”

Having got his life back on track, Alessio turned his sights towards a return to fighting. Enter longtime friend and veteran MMA promoter Sven Bean.

“He’s expressed interest in always wanting to use me and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” commented Alessio. “I’ve been sitting since Oct. 2, trying to negotiate with some shows, and Sven Bean stepped up and signed me and gave me this opportunity to go to Omaha.

“I’m just looking to make some new fans and continue on my win streak and keep working hard.”

In Ring of Fire on Friday in Omaha, Alessio will take on Matt Delanoit in what could be a match-up to set the pace of the year for each fighter.

“He seems to be a scrappy kid, a stand-up kickboxing type fighter, and it’ll be a tough fight,” stated Alessio. “I’m sure he’ll be one of those guys who will be looking to make a name off a name and so it’s my job to go in there and stop that.”

Following Ring of Fire, Alessio will step in for an injured Carlos Newton at the upcoming W-1 show, and from there he makes no bones about what he wants to accomplish in 2010.

“I look to finish up the year without losing; and putting on exciting fights where people are wowed,” he exclaimed. “I want people to think that I’ve improved a lot and that I’m a force to be reckoned with that other welterweights should watch out and take me very seriously.

“I think it’s very important that I’ve learned from the big mistakes I’ve made like getting out of shape in between fights and lack of concentration. Now my goal is that I want to crack that Top 10 and for everybody to believe in my abilities as much as I do now.”

With his life in order, Alessio feels it is time to make his presence known and finally impact the 170-pound division like he’s always wanted to.

“Thanks to my sponsors Knockout Fight Wear, Tapout, Shaw Chiropractic, Gamma-O, Full Tilt Poker, and TCB Clothing,” he said in closing. “You can check out the Ring of Fire live on GoFightLive.com, and then I’ll also be fighting in two weeks at W-1, so be looking for me to have a very busy March.”