John Alessio

Mark Bocek Says John Alessio is Back in the UFC, Replacing Matt Wiman at UFC 145

UFC lightweight Mark Bocek says that longtime veteran John Alessio is finally back in the UFC and will be replacing "TUF" alumnus Matt Wiman has his opponent in a preliminary bout at UFC 145 on April 21 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bocek tweeted the switch earlier this afternoon. The UFC has yet to confirm the change. Wiman reportedly suffered an undisclosed injury during a recent training session.

Alessio makes his long-awaited return to the UFC after winning ten of his last eleven bouts. His last UFC appearance was a unanimous decision loss to Thiago Alves in October 2006. Bocek was last seen handing Nik Lentz his first UFC loss in December.

Weekend Recap: UFC Veterans Victorious

Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A quarter of UFC veterans earned victories at Superior Cage Combat's second-ever showing on Saturday night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Josh Neer defeated WEC veteran Blas Avena via TKO in the first round in the show's main event. Former UFC welterweight title challenger John Alessio also submitting last-minute replacement opponent Shawn Fitzsimmons in the opening frame as well.

In addition, Team Alpha Male member Justin Buchholz grinded out a unanimous decision over Thiago Meller and John Gunderson scored an emotional victory James Birdsley, submitting his foe with a guillotine choke in the second round just days after his trainer, Shawn Tompkins, passed away.

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Prangley, Lashley Victorious at “Hard Knocks”

Trevor Prangley. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

Veteran Trevor Prangley outlasted defending champion Emanuel Newton to take a five-round unanimous decision and the MFC world light heavyweight championship at MFC 21: Hard Knocks Friday night at the River Cree Resort and Casino just outside Edmonton, Alberta.

After a weathering an early storm and appearing to be out of gas, Prangley (20-5) picked up the pace after three rounds and began to wear down Newton (11-4-1) with crisper strikes and kicks. By the time the fifth round came around, both of Newton’s eyes were half-closed due to precise shots and the effects of well-placed bodyshots from punches, knees, and kicks had taken their toll on Newton.

The fight’s most compelling moment came with one second remaining in the fifth round as Prangley clipped Newton with a punch combo and then connected point-blank with a crushing high kick that caught Newton square on the chin. Both fighters went down in a heap – Newton from the blast and Prangley from a bruised foot – as referee “Big” John McCarthy jumped in with the horn blowing. The sold-out crowd at The Venue at River Cree gave both fighters a standing ovation for their impressive performances.

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MFC Announces Full Card for “Hard Knocks”

Trevor Prangley. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

The Edmonton-based Maximum Fighting Championship has released the complete card for MFC 21: “Hard Knocks”, which will take place on May 15 at the River Cree Resort & Casino.

The show’s main event will feature UFC and Strikeforce veteran Trevor Prangley returning to action to challenge Emanuel Newton for his MFC light heavyweight title. Former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley will also battle California product Mike Cook in a featured attraction.

Additional main card bouts include former WEC and UFC title challenger John Alessio against Andrew Buckland, seasoned veteran Marvin Eastman facing Aron Lofton, and a light heavyweight clash between journeymen David Heath and Travis Galbraith.

The complete card for the event is as follows.

Main Card:

Emanuel Newton vs. Trevor Prangley (MFC Light Heavyweight Title)
Bobby Lashley vs. Mike Cook
John Alessio vs. Andrew Buckland
Marvin Eastman vs. Aron Lofton
David Heath vs. Travis Galbraith
Ryan Jimmo vs. Mychal Clark

Preliminary Bouts:

William Richey vs. Ryan Fortin
Jeremy Combrink vs. Jason Heit
Dwayne Lewis vs. Jay Whitford
Nolan Clarke vs. George Belanger

Report: Alessio Could Face Aoki in DREAM GP

John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Former UFC and WEC welterweight title challenger John Alessio is reportedly in talks with Fighting and Entertainment Group concerning the possibility of the Xtreme Couture member taking on skilled Japanese grappler Shinya Aoki in the first round of DREAM’s inaugural welterweight grand prix tournament in April.

According to Five Ounces of Pain, a source close to Alessio has stated that although his client is in talks with the Japanese promotion, a deal has not yet been finalized and that his chances of competing in the tournament are uncertain.

Following his questionable release from World Extreme Cagefighting last year, Alessio has gone on to win two out of his last three bouts. “The Natural” won consecutive bouts over fellow UFC veterans Pete Spratt and Gideon Ray before falling to Paul Daley at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in December.

Aoki was the favorite to win DREAM’s lightweight tourney last year, but ended up falling to Joachim Hansen in the grand prix finals. However “Tobikan Judan” bounced back to record consecutive wins in his last two bouts, submitting Todd Moore at DREAM.6 and most recently, fellow top-ranked lightweight Eddie Alvarez at K-1 Dynamite!! 2008.

MFC 19 Results and Story

Newton crowned new MFC champ
Daley blasts Alessio in Long Time Coming’s superfight

Emanuel “The Hardcore Kid” Newton used a methodical approach and demonstrated a vastly superior gas tank as he ripped the Maximum Fighting Championship’s world light heavyweight title from Roger Hollett last night before a sold-out crowd at MFC 19: Long Time Coming.

Before the HDNet Fights’ cameras and a full house at The Venue at River Cree Resort and Casino, Newton simply wore out Hollett with a steady barrage of takedowns and an early attack to the body that clearly depleted the former title-holder. But while delighted with taking the title by a resounding unanimous decision, Newton (18-3) was apologetic for a fight that was less-than thrilling.
“I’m sorry it wasn’t very exciting and I promise I will be better when I defend this beautiful belt,” said Newton. “I relied on my cardio and that was the difference.”

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Report: Alessio-Daley to Collide at MFC 19 (Updated)

John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Former UFC and WEC welterweight title challenger John Alessio will reportedly take on rising British striker Paul Daley in a bout that will take place inside Mark Pavelich’s Maximum Fighting Championship on December 5 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada according to

Both Alessio and Daley were connected to the demise of ProElite’s EliteXC brand earlier this month. Daley had fought on four separate occasions in different promotions under the ProElite banner while Alessio was in talks to sign with the company before opting to twice fight at Las Vegas-based “Night of Combat” events following his release from the WEC earlier this year.

Alessio has won his last two fights since being disqualified for illegally kneeing Brock Larson at WEC 33 back in March. The Canadian submitted Pete Spratt in early summer and followed up by stopping fellow UFC veteran Gideon Ray with strikes on October 11.

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“Night of Combat II” Fight Card Changes

Jay Hieron. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

Following a reported positive test for marijuana, Bryson Kamaka has been taken off from tonight’s “Night of Combat II” card, which is being promoted by Kim Couture’s KC Concepts and Scott Kelp’s Superfights MMA and will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The news comes from a report by Five Ounces of Pain.

MMA on Tap has since been able to confirm through the management team of former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron, who was Kamaka’s original opponent, that he will now face local product Chris Kennedy at the event.

Kennedy, who currently fights out of Las Vegas, has won his last three fights, most recently earning a third-round submission of Mike Arranz at Jeremy Horn’s Elite Fight Night on July 12. Kennedy has also gone the distance with fellow welterweight prospect Josh Williams and “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Joe Duarte during his brief career.

Hieron has not competed since successfully defending his IFL belt against former U.S. Marine Mark Miller in April. He became the IFL’s first-ever welterweight champion after defeating Donnie Liles and Delson Heleno in consecutive fights. The Long Island native is currently keeping in shape by training at Xtreme Couture. He was originally slated to take on Drew Fickett on October 11 at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show before it was postponed until early next year.

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Shields Not Defending Title Against Alessio (Updated)

Jake Shields. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

Update 6:21 PM ET: John Alessio tells MMA Junkie that he will not be ready in time to fight at EliteXC’s September 20th event due to a lack of preparation time and a continual recovery from his broken arm. “Sept. 20 is the date [EliteXC] brought up (for a bout with Shields), and that’s just too soon for my arm,” Alessio said in the report. “I had surgery on [my arm] three days after the fight (with Spratt). I had a cast on it for a little while. Now I’m out of it, and I’m back in training. But I had to take five weeks off. Getting ready for a five-round fight by Sept. 20 is too much.”

Update 4:24 PM ET: Jake Shields has told MMA Weekly that while a fight against John Alessio is on the table, he’s unsure if he will accept it because of a standing offer from another organization to fight at 185 lbs. this fall. “That fight might happen, but it’s not 100%, not finalized yet,” Shields said in the article. “Right now I have a really good offer on the table to fight a top 185-pounder. I’m just waiting, hoping EliteXC will give me that opportunity to go out there and represent [them] and test myself.”

Jake Shields will reportedly make his first defense of his newly-won EliteXC welterweight title against former UFC and WEC title challenger John Alessio at EliteXC’s “Showdown at the Pit” event on September 20th at the University of New Mexico.

The news comes from MMA Mania, who have confirmed the bout with a source close to the fight’s negotiations. The matchup was first uncovered by Five Ounces of Pain via yesterday when Shields mentioned that he would be facing Alessio during a recent interview.

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Report: EliteXC Inks Alessio to Multi-Fight Deal

John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Longtime veteran and former UFC and WEC welterweight title challenger John Alessio has reportedly signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC.

The news comes from Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain citing multiple sources. Alessio became a free agent this past spring after the WEC opted not to re-sign him. He last fought in June, submitting Pete Spratt at a ESPN-promoted joint boxing and mixed martial arts card in Las Vegas.

Prior to the win over Spratt, Alessio had a three-fight winning streak snapped courtesy of a disqualification loss to Brock Larson at WEC 33 in March. Early on in the first round, Alessio illegally kneed Larson in the head while he was still down on the mat. Larson was eventually deemed unable to continue, handing Alessio an unfortunate loss.

It’s expected that with a victory or two, Alessio could likely challenge newly-crowned EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields at some point next year, although the promotion could quickly match the two up at a show later this year if Shields’ wishes to face Drew Fickett aren’t able to be granted.

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