Miguel Alo: Team Sprawl’s Prodigal Son Could Be Philippine MMA’s Comeback Kid

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Regaining Glory Starts at FightCon

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After defeating heavy hitter Mario Sismundo in 2012, Team Sprawl’s Miguel Alo went on hiatus to focus on life outside of MMA. This came as a shock to rabid fans as the wrestling hotshot had a promising career, having also beaten former URCC featherweight champion Red Romero and shared the ring with Will Chope.

“This is the first time I’ll be fighting while having an 8-to-5 job. I can say that training after office hours is very difficult as compared to doing only MMA. But it makes you a tougher person, and that quality carries over inside the cage and other aspects of life.”

On May 13 at FightCon, he will be up against Submission Sport’s Benjo Penzon, who despite not having as much professional MMA experience than Alo, has remained active in the grappling scene during his time off. Alo, however, maintains that he is in shape 365 days a year even if he’s not competing.

In his words, “I hibernated for five years, but I’m always fighting in my dreams when I’m asleep.”

Looking Back

Alo considers his debut MMA fight as his most memorable. He recalls, “I joined the UP Wrestling Team in August 2008 following my career as a track and field athlete. Come September, coaches Karlo Sevilla and Gilbert Ombao enlisted me to fight in the URCC University Challenge.”

For Alo, as a fighter’s skill set grows and as he relies more on it, an MMA match becomes more like a game of chess than an actual fight, a contest of technique instead of a mere brawl. That being said, he still entered the ring with virtually zero skills, but with a surplus of raw athleticism and indomitable spirit.

Just like that, he won his first real fight. It was followed by another amateur triumph before he turned pro and retired with a record of 3-2. That’s on top of an engineering degree and a post-graduate certificate.

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Great Support System

Fighting full time after finishing college in UP may put off any other parent. Not Alo’s. He prides, “What parent would let their child go out in life and get hurt? Well, my parents. That’s why I’m lucky to have them. They’re exceptional. They have been in full support since Day One.”

The Quezon City native also gets huge push from Team Sprawl and Team Fist, both of which helped him regain his game in no time.

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Eyes on the Task at Hand

Talks of a renewed MMA career sprung when Alo first expressed interest in fighting again. But he is taking it one step at a time and chooses to focus on his upcoming fight. “Inactivity will play a part in a sense that my skill set has not improved since I hang up my gloves. The good thing is that my body isn’t battered with the everyday grind of training. I’ll be fighting without worrying about chronic injuries.”

At 32 years old, he is just nearing his peak as an MMA fighter. “I am very thankful that FightCon gave me another shot at the sport and also to Benjo for taking the fight with me. I respect him and I will give everything in our match.”

Mark “Sexymundo” Raymundo is a copywriter and an amateur fighter with a perfect record of 21-0. Nah, he’s just a copywriter.

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