Andre Fili has been a staple in the featherweight division since bursting into the UFC in 2013. He has fought some of the biggest names to secure a relatively mixed record but has always promised a tough fight for whoever stands before him. Unfortunately, while his longevity in the promotion has allowed him to make a name for himself, he has, for the most part, fallen short against the UFC’s best. Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, and Bryce Mitchell are just some of the fighters he fought before they broke into their prime careers.
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As he looks to bounce back from another small string of losses, Fili will once again test a young up-and-comer. Bill Algeo made his UFC debut just two years ago and has amassed a UFC record of 3-2 with wins over Herbert Burns, Joanderson Brito, and Spike Carlyle. A wrestler from Pennsylvania, Algeo finds himself face to face with his highest-profile opponent thus far, and a win over Fili would be a massive step in his career.
Fili vs. Algeo is one of the main card fights on this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 210 card. Subscribe to ESPN+ to watch every UFC fight live.
Oddsmakers have had a difficult time calling this matchup, as evident in the negative odds on both sides. Fili is a slight favorite at -120 and Algeo at -110. Regardless of who fans pick, they will have to risk a little more to make their buck.
Bill Algeo has developed a wide bouncy stance with karate influence. It’s a difficult style to keep up due to the constant movement and foot engagement, but he has tremendous cardio to back it up.While he is not the sharpest and slickest striker he does utilize his reach well with a good long front kick to the body that chips away at his opponents gas tank as well as a nice left switch kick to the body as well. His length also makes him difficult to takedown against the fence as he is good at securing deep underhooks and maintaining good clinch positions.
His original background is wrestling which is why his ability on top is his greatest asset. He has powerful ground and pound, and he will completely posture up to land it because he is confident in his submission defense as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. He has good grappling ability, especially in his use of stacking guards to pass and land his punches but has often had to withstand a storm before getting there. Algeo is very durable and game and seems to rally back from bad positions before mounting his own offense, but his endurance and grittiness is a major asset.
Fili is a dynamic striker and a well-rounded fighter. Although Algeo often takes advantage of his length, Fili will just about match it as the two are equal in height and reach within an inch. The biggest difference between the use of length, however, is that while Algeo almost negates himself looking for the finish and rushing in, Fili shows much more experience by flowing with his combinations when he smells blood. Watch for Fili’s slick jab, followed up by his left hook, which is thrown wide. He primarily boxes but also uses that hook to set up his right head kick. He will also happily switch and adapt between southpaw and orthodox easily.
While grappling is not Fili’s preferred area of contest, he does have nice fluid takedowns setup by his strikes. He has solid fundamentals however, Algeo will likely hold a bit of an advantage on the ground. That being said, Fili’s movement and constant feinting and jabbing could make it difficult for Algeo to time his shot unless he can put him against the cage. However, Fili has also shown good footwork and consistent circling, which will also make this difficult for him.
Both men are good rangy fighters. I think that having their reach negated to some extent will be more beneficial for Fili with more experience and better technical boxing skills. Algeo may look to accentuate his range with his karate-esque footwork, but Fili cuts angles and switches stance enough to make it very difficult for Algeo to pick his bounce-ins too easily.
While Algeo may be a bit more comfortable in a grappling exchange, I think that Fili has the movement and wrestling to avoid most takedown attempts and the striking to make him pay for them when he can’t secure them.
Prediction: Andre Fili to win (-120 odds at BetUS)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.