Benny Alloway to make UFC debut
With Australia’s maiden season of The Ultimate Fighter now all wrapped up, a feature match-up between Team Australia fighters Benny Alloway and Manuel Rodriguez has been added to the card of the finale.
The event which is set to be held on the Gold Coast on December 15th will showcase several fighters from the series. Alloway and Rodriguez were both semi-finalists on the show and their fight marks the first time in UFC history that two Australians would meet inside the Octagon.
Benny Alloway was featured in the first fight of the TUF: Smashes series and not only got the first win but also the first stoppage of the series. When asked on his growing list of “firsts” he was excited, “it’s good to have your name against something like that, I was proud to get the first Aussie win and am now even prouder to be in the first Aussie versus Aussie fight in the UFC, it’s an exciting piece of history,” he explained. The match-up with Manny was a little unexpected as many had suspected Alloway would square off with either Xavier Lucas or Luke Newman. “We were both a little bit surprised with the match-up, at first I thought they’d put me against Lucas or Newman, but it all makes sense to see the semi-finalists square off,” Benny continued.
Whilst it had been previously reported by several MMA media outlets that the fight between Alloway and Rodriguez was set to be a grudge match to settle an old rivalry, Benny couldn’t help but laugh that off, “We knew the media would play it out like that,” he explained. “Manny called me after the match-up was announced and we had a chat. He assured me that there was no bad blood on his end and I told him the same thing. We agreed to just go in there, put on a great fight and one hell of a show and then have a beer together afterwards.”
With the two being team mates throughout the series they were able to bond quite a bit and found that they had a lot in common outside the cage “we trained together in the series and we kind of worked each other’s game out. I know that I have grown so much in the past few months after the show and I am looking forward to showing what I can do against Manny.” Although the two were close, the announcement that they were going to have to fight didn’t phase Alloway too much. “To me it is just going to be business as usual. Manny will do his thing, I will do mine and I am confident that I will get the win.”
On his time inside the house Benny reflected that at times it was difficult, “with my wife being pregnant there were times when I just wanted to talk to her. It was incredibly hard. I tried to get a phone call out to her, but the producers told me that if they did it for me they’d have to do it for everyone. It made sense and even though it was hard for me, it was worth it in the long run.”
A key part to his preparation for his UFC debut was that Marc Fiore made his way over to Australia to help Benny train in the lead up to the fight, “Marc has come over here during the holiday season to help me prepare and I am grateful for that, he has taken time away from his family to be here with me and it has helped my prep tremendously.” Alloway couldn’t thank his training partners enough and he attributed them to his success, “It was great to be back at PUMMA with Vince (Perry) and all the guys who have helped me prepare for this fight, they have really taken me to the next level. Marc, Vince and Jason have all worked me hard in prep and I know I am ready to show Australia, and even the world what I can do on the big show.”
The support that Alloway has received from sponsors and supporters such as Planet Max Supplements, Axis Jiu-Jitsu, Sculpt , Mark Edmonson, Jason Roebig, Ryan Gambin, Marc Fiore and Boxstadia has helped him take what was once a dream and turn it into a reality. Of course none of what he has achieved would have been possible without the support of his wife, Shonel who has supported his dreams since day one.
With so much on the line and a newborn baby on his mind, it would be easy to be distracted going into this fight. Alloway was thankful that his newborn (Chael) came at the time he did, “It’s been such a great experience,” he explained. “You just have to keep on going; the sleepless nights are just something you get used to. I am just glad I have been able to keep training, I owe that to my wife, she’s been great.” Whether he wins or loses his fight, what happens afterwards is going to be the same. “I can’t wait to spend time with the missus and my kid. I have gone three years without a break and I am looking forward to having a few beers!”
Everything that Alloway has been working towards in his career comes to a high point on December 15th. His chance to shine comes on the sport’s biggest stage and no matter what happens inside that cage Benny’s life will have changed for the better. “I can guarantee that we are going to put on an explosive fight and show everyone why we were picked for the show,” Alloway explained. Whether you watched the series or not, the fight will still prove to be an exciting showcase of what two of Australia’s best fighters can do inside the cage. “I am grateful that I get to do this for a living and when the time to fight comes I am going to be ready to get the win,” Benny concluded.
Be sure to tune in for the finale of the biggest thing to happen in Australian MMA and show your support for Benny Alloway and the rest of Team Australia!