Long time veteran MMA fighter, John “The Natural” Alessio (33-14), has been fighting since 1998 and has fought in various promotions ranging from King of the Cage, the WEC, and the UFC. Fourteen years later, he’s dropped 15 pounds and is getting ready to take on Ryan Healy (19-9-1) in the Score Fighting Series (SFS) on March 16th in Ontario, Canada.
At 32 years old, Alessio told the MMA Fight Corner that he feels like he’s in his prime after dropping a weight class. Since going from 170 to 155, Alessio said the cut wasn’t too tough. He credited Mike Dolce, creator of The Dolce Diet, for working with him to help him cut the weight properly.
“I didn’t want to be one of those fighters that didn’t make weight, especially in my debut.” In his Lightweight debut for Superior Cage Combat (SCC) in November 2011, he defeated Luis Firmino via a Unanimous Decision victory.
Alessio will look to keep his two fight win streak alive when he takes on Ryan Healy, who is the twin brother of Strikeforce fighter, Pat “Bam Bam” Healy. When it came to assessing his opponent’s strengths, Alessio said, “He’s a tough kid from Team Quest. The Healy brothers, their best thing is their ability to take a beating. This is one fight where I wanna go out there and put it on him. But I don’t want to like, go for the kill too early…I just want to put a constant beating on him the whole time. If the finish comes, it’ll be there, but I don’t want to over-work for it.”
Not “over-working” himself is also what Alessio believes is keeping the UFC from calling him to return to the Octagon.
“They wanted me to finish people, I finished people. And then I still get criticized for maybe being a fighter that doesn’t put it all on the line,” he explained.
But Alessio, who once fought Pat Miletich in UFC 26 for the Lightweight title when the weight class limit was 170lbs, admits he realizes what he has to do next.
“Don’t get me wrong, I know what I need to do to get back to the UFC. I could put it on the line a little bit more. But hey, I need to pick the times when I do that. I’ve always prided myself on being a technical fighter, and I’ll have a longer career than most of those guys, I believe.”
Though Alessio lost all three of his fights in the UFC, maybe the years he’s been away have given him the time he’s needed to focus on making his comeback to the world biggest fighting promotion. With a new swagger at 155 that has him feeling rejuvenated, Alessio said, “I feel great, especially now that I made the drop, I feel like I’ve started a brand new career. I almost feel like I’m one and 0 as a pro now and ready to climb the ladder at 55 – a brand new, fresh career really. Forget the first 14 years I had.”