Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs John Alessio In The Works For Bellator 31After a Bellator 25 bout with Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle was scrapped, former UFC welterweight Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida is now expected to face John “The Natural” Alessio at Bellator 31. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed plans for the September 30th fight with MMARising.com earlier this weekend and bout agreements could be in place soon.

Yoshida is coming off of a pair of disappointing losses against Anthony Johnson and Mike Guymon, but the fourth-degree judo black belt will look for a fresh start in Bellator. Alessio, meanwhile, has won five straight fights.

Yoshida (11-5-0) entered the UFC on an eight-fight win streak that included victories over former Shooto champ Akira Kikuchi and current UFC contender Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy (by DQ), and choked out War Machine in his promotional debut at UFC 84. However, he was able to pick up just one win in four subsequent Octagon appearances and suffered knockout losses at the hands of Josh Koscheck and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. A decision loss to Guymon at UFC 113 sent the judoka packing, but he will now seek a new home in Bellator and its talent-rich welterweight division.

Alessio (29-13-0) has competed for nearly every major promotion in North America, as well as Pride Fighting Championships and DREAM in Japan, and will make his Bellator debut should the fight with Yoshida materialise. A proven finisher, 24 of Alessio’s wins have come by stoppage, but submission defence has been an issue at times in his career. Having won seven of his last nine fights since departing the WEC in 2008, Alessio is once again on the rise in his 12-year career and a victory over Yoshida would send a statement to other 170-pound fighters in Bellator’s ranks.

Bellator 31 will take place on September 30th at a venue and location to be determined.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

  1. […] Yoshida vs John Alessio in the works for Bellator 31 Yoshida vs Alessio In The Works For Bellator 31 | MMARising.com […]

  2. Interesting fight…they are bringing in some good names for the tourney eliminators.

    Last chance for Yoshida to stay in the US market…would have liked to see him fight another Bellator WW thought…but nevermind

  3. […] He's fighting John Alessio. Yoshida vs Alessio In The Works For Bellator 31 | MMARising.com […]