We don’t mean to disrespect a grizzled veteran of the sport like John Alessio, but simply put, if you are shocked to learn that “The Natural” was released from the UFC following an 0-2 stint in the octagon, you are either John Alessio or Lloyd Christmas. Having compiled an 0-5 lifetime record in the promotion, Alessio not only received one of the most undeserved title shots of all time under the Zuffa banner, but will live in CagePotato infamy for his placement amongst the “50 Worst Fighters in UFC History” and “The Ten Most Ironic Nicknames in MMA”. While he might be upset to learn of his placement on one of those lists, the other was more or less just a means of wasting time on our part.
Based purely on comparative success in other promotions, Alessio was/is basically the Canadian version of Jorge Santiago — a man capable of crushing 95% of the fighters he faces outside of the promotion, but one who simply couldn’t put it together under the bright lights — scoring impressive wins over fellow UFC veterans Chris Clements, War Machine, and Sean Pierson among others. Of his five losses, four came by way of unanimous decision, against superior strikers (Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez), superior grapplers (Mark Bocek, Shane Roller) and superior superiors (Pat Militech). In an interview with MMAJunkie, Alessio discussed how his most recent loss to Roller was the hardest to swallow:
I’m super upset. I worked so long and so hard to get back, and the UFC always puts all this pressure on you about being exciting, so I tried to change my style up to be crowd-pleasing. But then I get an opponent in my last fight, where he just chose to hold me down to win the fight, and it’s just depressing that that gets rewarded when all they talk about is exciting fights.
I really thought that I’d be spending more than a couple of months of 2012 in the UFC. I thought I’d get one more shot. I don’t know where I should go or what my options are.
Though we are sure that Alessio will find success wherever he lands, his hope of getting a win in the UFC before he retires is a long shot at best at this point in his career. The 33 year-old Xtreme Couture products record currently stands at 34-16.
We’ve whipped up a tribute to Alessio’s finest UFC moments and placed them below.