Alessio on Hold for Shields

Written by Tom Ngo
August 15th, 2008

Reigning EliteXC welterweight champion, Jake Shields, will most likely not face John Alessio on EliteXC’s next event September 20th. It is not out of the question that Shields will make his first title defense on the card, however Alessio is still recovering from an injury and would not be ready in time.“That fight might happen, but it’s not 100% finalized yet,” Shields told MMAWeekly about being offered the Alessio fight.

Shields did state that he has an offer from a different promotion to compete against a top contender in the middleweight division.  Before he is allowed to take that fight, he needs approval from EliteXC management.

“Right now, I have a really good offer on the table to fight a top 185-pounder,” Shields said. “I’m just waiting, hoping Elite (XC) will give me that opportunity to go out there and represent Elite and test myself.”

Hopefully for Shields, EliteXC will allow him to take that bout and not have to face Alessio. The champion has provided quite a bit of bulletin board material for Alessio.

“Alessio, he’s a good opponent, (but) it’s a fight that doesn’t really excite me though unfortunately,” Sheilds said. “I’m not too motivated about it, but he’s one dangerous guy that you’ve got to watch out for. He’s a really difficult guy to fight, hard to take down, good stand-up, but if that’s the fight I end up taking, I’ll get myself motivated and pumped up to go do it, but right now I’m really excited about the other fight. I think it’s good for my career and I hope (Elite XC) will realize it too, that it’s not bad for their show, that it helps push me further.”

Alessio is still recovering from a broken arm that he suffered in his win over Pete Spratt in June. He confirmed that there is no way that he will have that injury healed with enough time to prepare for a title bout by September 20th.

“It’s a little sooner than I wanted. I just started training again. It’s a little bit of a short training cycle, but I guess I’m already in pretty good shape,” Alessio said. “I wanted to have a little bit more time to chill, but also the other fight is a fight I’ve wanted to fight for a while and I think it will be a big fight, so hopefully EliteXC will let me give the opportunity to test myself.”

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