March 3, 2024

■  Harley F. Palangchao

Igorot mixed martial arts and Muay Thai fighter Benedicto “Ben” Alumno has caught the attention of fellow MMA fighters when he worked in the corner of Chinese Zhang Weili, who defended her Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s strawweight world belt at the TD Garden in Boston, United States in August.

Alumno, who appeared in local MMA promotions in the past, is being credited by some fighters for the impressive striking skills displayed by Zhang when she routed Amanda Lemos of Brazil to win via unanimous decision.

Zhang has recorded the largest strike differential in UFC women’s history when she successfully landed 288 strikes as against Lemos’ 21.

In his recent posts on Facebook, Alumno has uploaded video clips of him training Zhang’s striking skills.

Alumno was also with the coaching staff of Zhang who escorted the Chinese MMA champion to the octagon during the co-main event of UFC 292 in Boston.

In a post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said, “Zhang was completely dominant. Lemos is so tough and hits like a man – when she throws punches, they have bad intentions. She caught Weili a couple of times and Weili took those. Weili Zhang is a beast.”

“The scores were insane as was the strike differential. You can’t win any more dominantly than that, other than a finish,” White added.

Zhang improved to 24-3 and won her third consecutive title defense while Lemos dropped to 13-3-1.