Bellator 139: David Rickels Hopes to “Definitively Beat John Alessio” And Take Step Towards Lightweight Title
By Kelsey Mowatt
Since David Rickels joined Bellator in 2011, “The Caveman” has been matched up against several, well established fighters, and that’s certainly the case for Bellator 139. On Friday, Rickels will take on 50 fight plus veteran John Alessio, and the lightweight is clearly thrilled about that fact.
“Man, excited, and that dude’s been around for ever,” Rickels relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the June 26th bout. “My goodness gracious… It’s just really cool. I respect him as an opponent and I think it’s a great match-up. Those guys are really good at putting together guys that are going to fight man.”
“I know we’re going to fight,” the 26 year-old added. “So, I’m looking to go toe-to-toe with him.”
While Alessio (35-17) has been fighting for twice as long as Rickels (16-3), and has approximately 30 more fights under his belt, the Kansas fighter isn’t short on confidence heading.
“Yes, I do,” said Rickels, when asked whether he sees some areas in Alessio’s game that he can exploit. “One of the things that I want to exploit is that I’m a better fighter than him. I just personally think that I’m better everywhere. I think that I’ve got better jiu-jitsu; I think that I’ve got better wrestling, and I think I’ve got better stand-up. The trick is applying them in the right fashion. The right order and just making everything come together…this is the best I’ve ever felt, so I’m ready to go.”
Alessio has turned to his submission skills to record many of his victories over the years, but the 35 year-old’s striking game in particular, is what many would say is “The Natural’s” best weapon. As a result, many of Alessio’s opponents have often looked to close the distance on the Canadian, and take him to the mat.
“It’s definitely something that I’ve noticed,” said Rickels, while discussing the fact that Alessio’s recent losses have come as a result of him being placed against the cage, or taken to the floor. “To say I didn’t watch tape and look into how I want to fight these guys would be stupid. I’m partial to stand-up, so I like getting in there and mixing it up, but I also, if I get on top of people, I do a lot of damage and I wear people out.”
“So if I get on top of him, you can expect me to dish it out, and I know that’s a position that he doesn’t want to be per se, but he does a good job of handling it,” furthered Rickels. “He’s got a good guard…I’m expecting a tough opponent, someone who is hard to finish, but that it is my goal. I want to definitively beat John Alessio. I want people to know that I’m headed towards the title.”
Bellator 139 will be hosted by the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane Kansas. The main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.