Lesson Learned: John Alessio Settles Down
Once an MMA fighter gains notoriety in the sport, the opportunity to get lost in the lifestyle of the rich and the famous presents itself. For some athletes this does not pose a problem, but for others it could be enough of a distraction to keep them from fulfilling their potential. John Alessio, living and training in Las Vegas, has been around the sport and that lifestyle for a lengthy stretch and is only now figuring out his lesson learned.
John Alessio is thirty years old and has racked up 40 professional fights amassing a record of 27-13-0. When he faces Chris Clements at W-1: Bad Blood in Montreal this weekend he will have fought twice within a 15 day stretch. Alessio is heading into Montreal carrying a three fight win streak with his most recent coming March 5th at Ring of Fire with a first round submission of Matt Delanoit.
John had an exciting stint in the MFC where he notched two wins over both Andrew Buckland and a knock out win over the very heavy handed Luigi Fioravanti. The general consensus was that John would be close to a title shot or be given a title shot with his next fight for the MFC. Obviously it did not pan out as Alessio, for the time being, will not be a part of the organization.
“We went one fight at a time, and my last fight was a really, really big win – probably the biggest win of my career…and there were talks of title shot happening – but basically it came down to not agreeing on pay – we weren’t able to come to an agreement…I really wanted to fight for the MFC, that’s where I was building a good fan base, making a good name there…I enjoyed it because my family and friends always were able to come. It’s an excellent run show and very professional, but it just came down to agreement on dollars… I haven’t shut a door there; I’d love to fight for them again.”
John Alessio has been a busy man. John Alessio also considers himself a new man. “I’ve changed my lifestyle up a lot. I don’t party like I used to in between fights. After the fight, I’m back in the gym always learning.” Was there a catalyst to a change in lifestyle?
“You know, two losses in a row hurt me a lot and I had to reevaluate what was going on and that’s when I started making the changes in my life and taking training more seriously. I have a beautiful girlfriend who is super supportive and I don’t need to be out in the party scene chasing girls and things like that, I’m over that, I’m very content at home, my home life is awesome and I have a beautiful son. I want to be the father that I need to be for him. I want to be a role model for my son and for other people out there.”
John has given himself a lot to prove, in both his professional life and personal life. If it were all to end today, would he be satisfied with the stamp he left on the sport? “I feel like I’ve got so much more to do, I’ve just been reborn. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and I’m more technical than I’ve ever been.” It is no secret with the recent publicity that Alessio has had that he wishes to make his way back to the UFC. Alessio weighs in;
“…to be honest I’m 100% dedicated to getting myself back into the UFC. I have completely changed my lifestyle, my training and everything. I fell into the habit of training for a fight and then partying and then back into the gym training. I feel like I lost a few years of learning, I think I fell behind a little bit…I’m feeling more confident and healthier and like a better fighter all the time. Now I believe in myself so much, that I believe now is my time for the UFC, maybe I didn’t deserve the UFC back then because I wasn’t mature enough to handle the situation and treat it as the job that I wanted to do. I wasn’t being mature in life and in general and I’ve done a lot of growing and a lot of soul searching and I feel like I figured it out. I feel like I know what to do now, and I’m ready, ready for the UFC – I’m ready to get back in there and make a splash. I’m not the same I guy I was even six months ago, I’m completely changed for the best and I’m ready now.”
For Alessio’s dream of once again competing at the big show to come true, he has to continue his impressive run. “My job is to rattle off some wins for the UFC to see that I’m ready to go – I’m earning it this time around”, states Alessio. Next up on the list is Chris Clements. “He’s a slugger – he likes to slug it out, I think him and I will be an exciting fight – I picture him as a Luigi type of slugger, not on his level, but that type of guy – and I’m sure it will be a similar style fight.” John has not fought in Montreal since 2004 and he is excited to do so once again. “I’m very happy to make my return to Montreal, it’s a great city to fight in…and I was the UCC champion back years ago…I’m looking forward to it…looking forward to making some new fans out there too”, insists Alessio.
It seems as though John Alessio has indeed been reborn. He boasts a refreshing, mature and assured outlook on his future in the sport. His reversal in lifestyle and his seeming breakthrough in his psyche and character can only benefit his career aspirations and his personal life. John Alessio is a changed man – “…I didn’t always walk the straightest path, and now I’m just trying to be a better man, better fighter and a better father.”