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Tag: John Alessio

‘Night of Combat II’ Quick Recap

Jay Hieron Chris Kennedy Night of Combat Las Vegas MMA
(Jay Hieron batters the outmatched Chris Kennedy. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

From the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night…

Hector Ramirez def. Rick Roufus via unanimous decision
Jay Hieron def. Chris Kennedy via unanimous decision
Mike Pyle def. Brian Gassaway via submission (armbar), 4:21 of round 1
John Alessio def. Gideon Ray via TKO, 0:45 of round 1
Josh Haynes def. Sean Salmon via submission (achilles lock), 2:49 of round 2
Jonathan Mix def. John Halverson via TKO, 4:25 of round 1
Patrick Gonsalves def. Shawn David via submission (kimura), 3:51 of round 2
Elena Reid def. Stephanie Palmer via TKO, 0:53 of round 1
Ryan Hass def. Ian Omalza via submission (armbar), 3:09 of round 1

— Jay Hieron’s original opponent (6-13 jobber Bryson Kamaka) was pulled from the event on Friday after testing positive for marijuana, and was replaced by Chris Kennedy. Hieron dominated Kennedy for three rounds with slams and ground-and-pound, but was unable to finish him. Kennedy left the fight with a golf-ball sized welt on his forehead.

— There was a minor altercation after the Alessio/Ray fight, when Ray threw his mouthpiece at Alessio’s sister, who wouldn’t stop cheering after the match was over. The mouthpiece missed her and struck the dude sitting next to her. Arena security quickly prevented the situation from escalating.

— The event will be broadcast on HDNet on October 17th at 10 p.m.


Elite XC Gets All IFL, Cancels Sept. 20 Event

If there’s a worse sign for an MMA company than canceling a scheduled event just over a month out, we don’t want to know about it. Neither does Elite XC. The Fight Network is reporting that the organization has canceled their planned September 20 event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not postponed. Not rescheduled. Straight-up canceled. They still have plans for an October 4 show on CBS, so this is far from a death knell for Elite XC, but it’s not something to celebrate, either.

There’s no official word just yet on exactly why the event is being canceled, but it would seem to be at least partially related to their troubles putting together the somewhat baffling Jake Shields-John Alessio bout. After all the hype around Shields on the last CBS show, it didn’t seem to make much sense to give John Alessio a crack at his title. Add to that the fact that Alessio said the fight was too soon for him to reasonably take, and what you have is a non-bout and a non-event.

Poor Elite XC. Maybe this is the best thing for them at the moment. Their fighter stable is already a little thin, and when you try to stage a show every month you only make things more difficult. Focusing all their efforts on the October 4 CBS show is probably the best idea.

Who knows, maybe this will even improve the chances of Elite XC allowing Shields to take on Matt Lindland in Affliction. Don’t hold your breath, though. We worry about you when you do that.


Jake Shields Pulls John Alessio For Next Title Defense

Jake Shields EliteXC MMA

How hard is it for EliteXC to find opponents worthy of going up against welterweight champ Jake Shields? This hard:

Darrick: You just found out that you will be defending your title against John Alessio in about five weeks. What are your thoughts about this match?

Jake: I’m excited to be back at it. I trained all year without getting to fight until July, so I’m ready. I think John will be a good fight, he has good all-around skills and he always brings it. I’m sure he’ll be ready.

Yep, Jake Shields, the #3 welterweight in the world, who recently choked out top ten fighter Nick Thompson in 63 seconds, will next face John Alessio, a UFC castoff who went 0-3 in the Octagon before building up a respectable (though not stellar) 5-2 record in the WEC. Alessio has fallen short every time he’s gone up against high-grade competition — Carlos Condit, Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, a recent DQ loss to Brock Larson — so its surprising that he’d be given an immediate title shot after being picked up by EliteXC. But the match illustrates the dearth of talent in their welterweight class; Shields is in a holding pattern right now, waiting for challenges to materialize.

By the way, Sherdog just posted a strange little article about Shields watching UFC 87 at a friend’s house and paying close attention to the GSP vs. Fitch fight; the implied point of the piece was that he really, really, wants to be there. And we’ll probably never know the true extent of Shields’s abilities until he is.

(Props: FiveOuncesofPain)


MMA/Boxing Show in Vegas Debuts to Moderate Success

(Alessio finishes Spratt with a broken arm. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Giving tickets away for free might not be the best long-term business strategy, but it had the desired effect for Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center on Friday night. “A Night of Combat” drew almost nine thousand spectators with its promise of free tickets and a fight card divided between boxing and MMA.

To hear the Las Vegas Sun tell it, the show accomplished its modest goals through partnerships and an “outside the box” approach to fight promoting:

In this case, by giving tickets away, Libonati created a nice crowd, which met the needs of promoter Artie Pelullo, ESPN, Channel 13 News, Lotus Broadcasting and his other partners. Each received 1,000 free tickets of their own, to be distributed among the people with whom they do business. In return, Libonati got some free publicity.

To help underwrite the show, Libonati brought on a fledgling company called MLSE — Major League Sports Entertainment — which wants to introduce its brand to Las Vegas. On Friday night, MLSE shook hands with about 9,000 spectators, so it can be assumed its needs were met.


In the end, Libonati said the T&M will break even on the boxing-MMA card, probably even make a little money. He’ll make a lot more in the long run through business relationships that were made or maintained.

“Our model is you’ve got to create more than a receipt,” he said. “This type of special event thinking is what has made us unique in our industry. By creating special events, we are able to generate revenues that are shared by the entire campus.”

This, of course, was the same event that saw Kim Couture enter with high hopes and leave with some facial reconstruction. Also that night, John Alessio won by choking out Pete Spratt with a broken arm. He broke his forearm blocking a kick earlier in the fight, then grimly soldiered on toward the victory. You hear that, Kalib Starnes?


She Ain’t So Pretty Anymore…

Kim Couture
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog via Combat Lifestyle via Bloody Elbow, or something like that.)
Kim Couture Kim Rose MMA

As you can see, things didn’t go so well for Kim Couture during her professional MMA debut Friday at “Free For All: A Night of Combat,” at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. En route to a decision loss against Kim Rose — who was also making her pro debut that night — Couture suffered a broken nose, a broken jaw-bone (split in the middle of her chin), and a seriously busted grill. Interviewed after the match, Rose told fans in attendance “I felt like destroying something beautiful.” Nah, not really. Results of the MMA half of the MMA/boxing card are below.

John Alessio def. Pete Spratt via submission (rear naked choke), 2:07 of round 2
Kim Rose def. Kim Couture via unanimous decision
Dave Jansen def. Dennis Davis via unanimous decision
Kui Gonsalves def. Ricky Johnson via unanimous decision
Brice Ritani-Coe def. Rob Mitchell via TKO (strikes), 4:33 of round 1

(Props: MMA Weekly)


John Alessio Talks MMA/Boxing Co-Promotion, Calls Brock Larson Some Ugly Names

As you may or may not know, tonight in Las Vegas the Thomas and Mack Center is putting on a boxing/MMA event, for which they gave away tickets for free in order to drum up interest.

Fighting on the MMA portion of that event is John Alessio, who will be facing Pete Spratt. If you’re wondering whether Alessio has moved past his DQ loss against Brock Larson in the WEC, the short answer is no. The long answer, which can be found in the above video from MMA Rated, is that Alessio thinks Larson is a “fucking pussy.” So there you go.

It should be interesting to see where this zany idea of putting boxing and MMA together goes from here. As anyone who’s ever been to a show that combined MMA fights with “submission grappling” matches can tell you, the response to the thing that is not MMA is often very, very negative. And very, very drunk.

But that could be different when the other option is boxing, because at least that still involves punching people in the face. Or this could all be a ruse to try and trick boxing fans into watching MMA. If that’s the case, expect a lot of hilarious comments equating ground fighting with gay male sex. That never gets old.