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.