Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Shane Roller defeated John Alessio by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
It wasn't pretty, but a win's a win. After dropping the first round to John Alessio, Shane Roller went back to his bread and butter - wrestling. He got takedowns in the second and third rounds and dominated the grappling, getting to back mount in both rounds and threatening with chokes. Alessio was clearly frustrated and even tried talking Roller into scrapping, but it wasn't happening. Roller took the decision.
After a timid start, Roller finally loaded up a big right and followed it with a solid left. Roller feinted a punch and landed a solid kick to the twig and berries. After a 90-second break, Alessio got back on track with a couple of nice combinations. Roller missed with a takedown attempt. Alessio landed a nice right hook to the temple and followed it up with some grinding cage work. Alessio landed a left jab that stunned Roller with 10 seconds to go, and Alessio finished on top dropping bombs.
Both fighters worked the body to start the second. Roller dropped for a guillotine, but lost it and scrambled back up to get a takedown. Roller landed a nice short elbow, then spun around against the cage and took Alessio's back. Alessio used good wrist control to prevent Roller from getting anything going, but Roller rolled over, got both hooks, then a body triangle. Roller rolled to mount and dropped more elbows, then rolled to his back but couldn't finish.
Alessio came out swinging in the last stanza, landing most of the punches in an extended combination that backed Roller up. Roller responded by shooting in and getting the takedown. Roller landed a few elbows but Alessio got back to his feet. Not for long though, as Roller went around back and slammed him down once again. He had the back and sank one hook, setting for landing a barrage of punches. Alessio talked to Roller a bit, saying "you wanna fight me?", but Roller continued with his back control and occasional strikes. He transitioned to full back mount with a body triangle. Alessio reversed with 10 seconds to go, but it was too late.
Alessio entered the bout looking for his first UFC win in five attempts, while Roller was looking to erase a three-fight losing streak.