Coming off a loss to Calvin Kattar at UFC 214 in his previous fight in July, featherweight Andre Fili was looking to rebound as he headed into his UFC Fight Night 118 bout in October versus Artem Lobov.
After three rounds of action, Fili was able to pick up the unanimous decision victory. And while he doesn’t feel it was his best fight, he was nonetheless pleased to get back on the winning track.
“I was happy with the win, obviously, but I’m never really happy with my performance,” Fili told MMAWeekly.com in the run-up to Saturday’s UFC on FOX 27. “There is always stuff that I can do better. I’m always looking to improve. I’m happy overall I got a win over a guy who has beaten some tough opponents. It felt good to go back out there and get a win.”
Having just had the one fight versus Kattar in the year leading up to his win over Lobov, Fili was happy to get back into the routine of training and fighting again, as the long layoffs he’s faced had taken a toll on him.
“I didn’t fight for like 10 months and it was a really, really, hard time,” said Fili. “As a fighter if you can be in the gym, but if you’re in the gym and you don’t feel like you have a purpose, so sort you get that itch to fight. It’s hard to be a fighter and not have somebody to fight.
“It’s like Dave Castillo always says, if you stay ready, you don’t got to get ready. Staying ready is good for every part of a fighter’s life.”
Fili (17-5) will look to start a winning streak when he takes on Dennis Bermudez (16-7) in the UFC on FOX 27 co-main event on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C.
“I’ve got to stay long, stay sharp and keep my jab in his face,” Fili said of facing Bermudez. “It’s probably not a surprise – I think everybody knows about how this fight will go – he’s going to look to take me down, and I’m going to look to stand up, stay long and use my range.
“I’ve got a lot of reach on him, so I’m going to try to pick him apart, but I’m not afraid to go to the ground with him either. He’s going to try to take me down and hold me down, but I don’t see that happening. I like this fight and think I can beat him anywhere.”
Fighting in one of MMA’s deepest divisions, Fili wouldn’t be blamed for going out of his way to stand out amongst the crowd at featherweight, but that’s not how he handles himself. For Fili, his performances speak for themselves.
“I just try to be myself,” said Fili. “What you see is what you get with me. I’ve never really tried to stand out. I be myself and hopefully people gravitate towards it.
“I never put on a boring a fight. Every fight I’ve had – whether I’ve won or lost – has been exciting. I’ve got a core group of fans who are loyal, diehard, fans, and that’s really who I do it for.”
(Photo courtesy of UFC)