John Alessio: I am going to finish David Rickels and getting the finish is going to solidify myself as the top contender

The co-main event of Bellator 139 on Friday will be a key lightweight bout as John Alessio will look for his second win in a row when he meets David Rickels in Kansas.

Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA

Alessio (35-17, 1NC) enters this fight following a decision win last year against Eric Wisely at Bellator 119 and the victory snapped a four fight winless streak.

On Friday night, he will look for back to back victories when he meets the former Bellator lightweight title challenger. Recently, Rickels told The MMA Report that he was on his way up the rankings, while Alessio was on his way out. When Alessio heard this comment, he stated if Rickels is underestimating him, he is making a huge mistake.

“I think he is training his butt off right now,” Alessio told The MMA Report. “He seems like a guy that comes ready every fight and trains really hard. I do not think he is underestimating me. If he is, that is a really big mistake because I am not a guy to underestimate. I have been in every bad position there is. I have been in there with the best and I mentally feeling amazing right now. I am in great shape. Physically and mentally ready for this fight.”

Since Rickels entered Bellator in 2011, he has been known as a fighter that puts on entertaining fights. One of his most memorable fights came in 2013 when he defeated Saad Awad at the end of the second round by knockout to win the season eight lightweight tournament. Some people may use the term “reckless striker” to describe Rickels and Alessio agrees with that term.

“The one thing about him being a reckless striker means his is vulnerable too,” he explained. “You can not be reckless and defensive at the same time. He should know that if he has been doing any studying that I am a pretty good damn counter puncher. If he comes in wild, he is going to be right there for me to hit him. If he makes that mistake or leaves his hand down for a split second too long, throw those looping punches, I will be coming right down the middle and I am going to meet my knuckles with his chin.”

Every fighter will talk about the goals they want to accomplish in a fight, which the main goal is to get the win. Along with that, they will discuss how they want to make a statement to the executives of the promotion that they fight for. When it comes to Alessio, he plans to finish Rickels by finish and believes this could secure him a title shot.

“This fight I feel like will give me a title shot. This will be two in a row and I lost to the champion by decision. Who else in the 55 pound division is ready? Michael Chandler has lost twice to him. I feel like he has to get a few more wins before they can mark a third title fight with him. I also think that me making the statement by finishing David Rickels in front of his home crowd. He is going to do this fancy walk out and do his big fancy thing in front of his family and friends. I am going to finish him and getting the finish is going to solidify myself as the top contender.”