John “The Natural” Alessio, an Xtreme Couture fighter, is set to return to the UFC after more than a five-year absense from the world’s largest MMA promotion. Alessio will replace injured Matt Wiman against Mark Bocek on the main card of UFC 145 in Atlanta April 21. The event will be headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
A 14-year MMA veteran, Alessio has only made three UFC appearances over the course of his career.
At UFC 26 on June 9, 2000, he lost via submission to then-welterweight champion Pat Miletich. Alessio wouldn’t return until almost six years later, when he dropped a close unanimous decision to Diego Sanchez at UFC 60. His last octagon appearance saw him lose a unanimous decision to Thiago Alves at UFC The Final Chapter on Oct. 10, 2006.
Alessio is currently riding a three-fight win streak and has been victorious in ten of his last 11 bouts.