John Alessio. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Longtime veterans John Alessio and Pete Spratt will meet for the first time in their respective careers in a main event showdown that will headline an ESPN-promoted boxing and mixed martial arts card, which will take place on June 20th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Alessio had a three-fight winning streak snapped in March when he lost to Brock Larson via disqualification after an illegal knee left Larson unable to continue. Following the loss, World Extreme Cagefighting opted not to re-sign Alessio, who is currently training with Xtreme Couture.
Spratt most recently bounced back from a controversial loss to Canadian welterweight prospect Ryan Ford at a Maximum Fighting Championship event in February to score a first-round knockout of former fellow “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Jason Von Flue in April.
Two fights from the boxing portion of the card will be televised live on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”. The MMA portion of the event will begin following the conclusion of the broadcast and will air live on HDNet. The event is free to the public.
Additional MMA bouts scheduled to take place include a co-main event featuring Kim Couture, the wife of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who will be making her professional debut against Kim Rose. Dennis Davis also takes on Team Quest product Dave Jansen in a catch-weight bout at 150 lbs.
Ryan Schultz throws a right hand at John Gunderson. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
LAS VEGAS - Lightweight Ryan Schultz and heavyweight Roy Nelson defended their respective International Fight League titles and middleweight Ryan McGivern won his first belt before 3,931 at the IFL event last night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Schultz grinded out a unanimous decision over John Gunderson to retain his title, maintaining strong position throughout the match. Most of the bout was contested on the ground, with both fighters escaping potential chokes in the final two rounds.
Nelson earned a first-round TKO victory over Fabiano Scherner to defend his heavyweight crown. Nelson took Scherner down midway through the round and used a flurry of right hands to secure the stoppage at 3:20.
In what many felt was the best bout of the night, McGivern topped defending champion Matt Horwich by unanimous decision in a battle in which both fighters had strong moments.
Horwich nearly secured an armbar at the end of the second round, when McGivern was likely saved by the bell. In the closing seconds of the fourth round, McGivern delivered a series of strikes that staggered the former champion, but the champion held on until the bell.