Fight fans north of the border will be forced to choose between two of their proudest Countrymen this Saturday night as John Alessio is paired up with Mark Bocek.
Over the past few years Alessio has notched ten victories with his lone setback coming to Siyar Bahadurzada who just proved his worth as a prospect last weekend obliterating Brazilian striker Paulo Thiago in just 42 seconds.
The proud Canadian had eyed his return to the UFC for quite some time and hoped to meet with Bocek while he was there — Turns out he got both of his wishes.
“It’s just one of those things, ask and you shall receive, I want to be recognized as the number-one lightweight in Canada and I think Bocek has that spot so I thought I’d like to fight Bocek, I mean it’s nothing personal, I’m sure he’s a great human being and everything but as a fighter we all strive to be the best and I want to be the best in my home Country then the best in the world,”
He continued “Then I get an E-Mail from Joe Silva asking if I could be back and make weight by the 20th and that’s how it all started”
Bocek was already preparing to fight on the 21st against Matt Wiman but an injury forced him to put his octagon hopes on ice giving “The Natural” to return to the UFC fresh off a victory over Ryan Healy.
“I fought March 16 for Score Fighting and I just relaxed with a few bumps and bruises from that fight and I was just getting back into the swing of things in the gym and this happened”
While the 32-year-old veteran has hopes of making this an unforgettable appearance in the octagon he is prepared to play the game of his opponent if it comes to it.
“Our first thought was Boceks strengths and plan of attack so let’s work on his strengths and of course I worked on my cardio, those were the most important two things, he says.”
“Bocek wants to grapple most of the time so I don’t see why things are going to change, I feel like I have a pretty big advantage on the feet in the striking department so if he goes to stand that would be awesome for me but I don’t think I’ll get that gift, I think he’ll try to grind it out on the ground like he usually does, and he’s very good at that”
On his third stint in the organization he is looking for redemption and proving that he is one of the best fighters on the market and someone they won’t want to let go of anytime soon.
“I want to prove that I belong there, I mean it kind of sucked because I had that real razor thin loss to Diego [Sanchez] that people argue I won then I fought Thiago Alves to a decision, stood toe-to-toe with Diego for three rounds and get cut”
Today he is a veteran of 48 professional bouts but has never collected a victory inside the famed octagon, something he feels would be a different story if he were given more of a chance.
“I feel like if I was given more opportunities I wouldn’t have a 0-3 record in the UFC but I wasn’t given those opportunities, I was just given nails right off the bat and if I lost I was cut sort of thing so I feel if I had more fights in the UFC my record would say a lot more”
Catch the entire interview along with chats with Maximum Fighting Championships President Mark Pavelich and E.Spencer.Kyte here