Who said being an MMA fighter is easy? Former UFC, Bellator, Pride and WEC fighter John Alessio would tell you otherwise. John had an impressive MMA career overall, he held a King of The Cage title and fought for the WEC strap vs Carlos Condit. He’s fought all over the world, for example Pride FC and Pancrase in Japan, fought big names like Pat Militech, Paul Daley, Diego Sanchez, Will Brooks, Thiago Alves and Carlos Condit just to name a few. You would think with a career like that a guy can retire and live a pretty stable life right?
Not in this case, MMA is an unforgiving sport and there is no fighters union. So these guys don’t get retirement benefits or anything like that, so if your not at the top of the mountain, life can be a strugle when your career is finished. That’s why it sucks when you hear a story like this. John Alessio was a warrior, and to see that he has to drive for Uber to stay afloat shows the sad state of the current pay scale in MMA.
“I was in Vegas last week and took several Uber rides at the Strip. One evening, I got a ride from a driver named John in a Kia Optima. We started talking and I asked him if he was a native or a transplant. He said he was a transplant from Vancouver, Canada. I asked him why he moved from such a pretty place to Vegas and he answered that he was a Fighter. I asked him if he was a boxer or MMA Fighter? He said MMA. Then I had to ask which organizations he has fought for. He mentioned the UFC and Bellator! At this point, I felt stupid for not recognizing him and I asked his last name. He said, Alessio. Then I recognized him. He talked about his fights with Pat Miletich, Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. He mentioned that he had been fighting for a very long time and he is ready to retire. He looks forward to a career in law enforcement in Las Vegas. I wished him the best and my parting words were that I wish veterans of the sport like him had financial security. John is really cool, down to earth, and friendly.”