This past week, UFCFIGHTBLOG.COM had the pleasure of interviewing current UFC Fighter in the Lightweight Division Alessandro Ricci. Alessandro is from Woodbridge Ontario, Canada. At 34 years old, he stands at 5’11” and has a reach of 69 inches. His Stats are 10-5-0 as a professional MMA fighter. Take a look below to see how the interview went.
The first questions we asked were in regards to obstacles Alessandro has faced in his MMA career.
Q: When first deciding that you wanted to be a fighter, what were some of the biggest obstacles that you were faced with?
A: “One of the biggest challenges when I first started out was building up the conference, skill, knowledge and courage to compete in the ring. After one year of dedicated training and hard work, I had my first Muay Thai fight. After that I knew this was something that I wanted to commit and dedicate my life to. It allowed me to challenge myself and it taught me about life.”
Q: What advice would you give to younger fighters who face those or similar obstacles?
A: “My advice for younger fighters and martial artists is to find a gym and teacher that they really resonate with. The youth need great mentors to guide them along the way. Each martial artist has a unique journey and gets inspired by the people they surround themselves with. Be prepared for a lot of resistance in this journey. It’s about balancing the physical, mental and spiritual parts of life. Be patient, when you put in the right work you will get the results that you deserve. Embrace the victories and defeats. They both teach you very deep lessons that will improve your life.”
Q: How did your family react when you decided you wanted to be a fighter?
A: “My parents have always supported me since day one. When I was 15, my mother drove me to the gym every single day up until I got my license. Obviously when I told [them] that I wanted to fight they were worried like any parent would be but they allowed me to pursue it. When I told [them] that I wanted to move to Thailand to study and compete against the best in the world, they thought I was a little crazy. But after four years of hard work and dedication they saw the effort that I put in and after graduating high school I moved to Thailand for three years to study and compete against the best in the world. There was a lot of resistance during my whole martial arts journey with them but overall they supported me and after 20 years of dedicated work they fully support me 100% which I’m so blessed to have in my life right now. Now my parents travel with me to every fight that I compete in.”
Our second set of questions we asked were in regards to his MMA career;
Q: We all know every fighter has their strengths in a certain discipline. When you first started to learn different aspects, what was the hardest one for you to learn?
A: “Every [Martial] Art has its own unique challenges depending on the fighter. But overall it was Brazilian Jui-Jitsu where I’ve struggled the most within the beginning of my MMA career. It took me many years to find my flow and really understand the game. But I persevered and I didn’t give up and now it’s one of my favourite disciplines to practice in.”
Q: If you could clone yourself and be your own corner man, what would you tell yourself during the rounds?
A: “For the first 30 seconds I would tell me to breathe and clear my mind. Then I’ll give him one or two pieces of advice that I feel would be appropriate in that moment. I like to keep things simple. The corner man’s job is to keep the fighter calm and collective. Not to overwhelm him or add more tension. A great corner man knows how to read his fighter and knows how to amp them up or calm him down. You’re almost like a conductor in an orchestra.”
Q: Who was your most memorable fight so far? And why them?
A: “All of my fights have been very memorable and have been great experiences. They all were different in their own unique way and they all taught me great lessons about myself and life. Each one had it own challenges. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, preparing for the fight and the journey it has taken me on has been the most memorable. Overcoming all of the hard times and striving for excellence.”
Q: Where in the world have you fought?
A: “I fight all over Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Russia, Italy, and all over North America.”
Q: How did you react when you received the “phone call” from the UFC saying “We Want You”?
A: “It was definitely an incredible experience and how it all happened! This was a dream that I’ve been working on for the last seven years of my 20 years practising in the Martial Arts. Looking back into my journals from years ago and seeing how I have accomplished all of my goals up-to-date that I set out for. Now that I have made the UFC I feel like my career is just getting started! This is where the true test lies in my journey and I’m here to test myself against the best in the world. I’m here to reach my full potential.”
Our third set of questions was more directed to finding out who Alessandro is outside the Octagon and what he does in his spare time.
Q: Besides MMA, what are your other passions?
A: “ My biggest passion is about improving myself as a person. Gaining more knowledge about life, and exploring the world to gather new experiences. I love meeting and interacting with new people. I like practising yoga, meditating, and I love to be out in nature.”
Q: What would you like to do when your fighting days are over?
A: “I currently am the owner of M1 Thaiboxing & MMA and I am planning on teaching and passing on this great knowledge to other people who are interested in learning. Life is very unpredictable and I know I’m capable of doing many things after my fighting career. The Martial Artist has taught me to be an entrepreneur.”
Q: Finish this sentence “When I retire as a fighter, I want to be remembered as a _____?
A: “When I retire as a fighter, I want to be remembered as one of the greatest Martial Artists that every lived. Someone who impacted the sport in a positive way, inspired people to follow there dreams and heart.”
Q: Fill in the blank: If I wasn’t a fighter, I would be __________.
A: “Working with my father and taking over the family business. He runs a mechanical company and when I was younger I was working for him as a pipe-fitter and welder.”
We threw in the next question just for fun;
Q: If you were a NEW Marvel Super Hero, what would your powers be? And why?
A: “If I was a new Marvel superhero my powers would be to defeat all darkness and evil with the bright light that shines within me and in my soul. The darkness representing evil thoughts, anxieties and depression that we sometimes experience in life. We can all overcome these destructive mind sets by shining positive light, love, peace, and harmony in to ourselves. And with guidance we could all overcome evil.”
Our last set of questions revolved around a game that we like to call “Canadians”, as that is where he is from.
Q: Why MMA and not Hockey?
A: “I actually wanted to be a professional hockey player. As a young child I wanted to be a professional athlete. And I wanted to be in the NHL very badly. I loved hockey growing up. But after I stop playing when I was 13, I went on a different path and that’s how I got into the Martial Arts.”
Q: What does “EH” really mean?
A: “I guess it’s a Canadian thing.”
Q: “O CANADA, Our home and Native land, God keep our land” … Did you sing the next line in your head?
A: “I love singing the national anthem.”
Q: When I go to Tim Hortons (A well known Canadian coffee shop), I order _________.
A: “I will order a regular coffee.”
Follow Alessandro Ricci on Instagram @Alexriccimma
What an interview! We learned many things about Alessandro that we definitely didn’t know before and we hope you did as well. We will continue to interview various MMA fighters and post their interviews. Should there be anything in particular that you would like to know, please shoot us an email at THEUFCFIGHTBLOG@GMAIL.COM. Until next time, Stay Tuned, Stay Focused, Good Night till the Next Fight.