An emotional Mauricio Alonso went down on his knees and cried seconds after stopping Josh Koscheck at Bellator 172 in February, and that was it. The Brazilian welterweight, who turned 37 just days after the biggest win of his MMA career, hasn’t stepped inside a cage since.
Alonso rocked Koscheck with a perfect right hand, then landed a vicious uppercut that dropped the UFC veteran a second time in San Jose, Calif., forcing referee “Big” John McCarthy to step in and save Koscheck from more damage.
The Brazilian veteran was competing for the second time under the Bellator banner, both times on one-fight deals. A big first-round finish over a popular name like Koscheck would guarantee him a longer contract with the promotion, Alonso thought at the time, but the offer never came.
“I was surprised,” Alonso told MMA Fighting. “I thought we would sit down and they would offer me a contract and give me another fight right away, but they didn’t offer me anything. It was weird.”
Months after that win, Bellator reached out to Alonso with another one-bout offer, a chance to compete in the preliminary portion of Bellator 183 in San Jose.
“I spoke with my coach Kirian Fitzgibbons, from Combat Sports Academy, and he said, ‘No way, you deserve a main card fight after this win,’” Alonso said. “We decided to wait for another opportunity. Even if it took a little longer, but I wanted a bigger fight.”
Alonso lives in San Jose, where he runs a jiu-jitsu program with almost 250 students, so being inactive in MMA for so long hasn’t become a huge factor financially — but that doesn’t mean he’s comfortable with the scenario.
“I want to fight as soon as possible. I’m ready,” Alonso said. “I’m in better shape and better technically compared to when I fought Koscheck in February, so my next fight will be great.
“I’m in touch with other promotions in Russia and Japan, trying to open other doors, but I really wanted to fight more in Bellator,” he added. “I know what I’m capable of and I know I belong to the big leagues. I’m 37, but I never gave up on my dream. I had this opportunity against Koscheck and won, and I’m ready for more fights.”