Back in Vegas, the UFC returns with a great match up between Bryce Mitchell and Andre Fili. Featured in the co-main event, these two will light up the UFC Apex. Changing up stances is nothing new to Fili, and neither is fighting someone southpaw. Fili has been around the game a while. Conversely, Mitchell has made his impact more recently. First, he appeared on the The Ultimate Fighter TV series. Excluding an exhibition loss to Brad Katona, Mitchell is undefeated in the UFC. We find out where both athletes stand in the featherweight landscape after this co-main bout is concluded.
UFC Vegas Andre Fili and Bryce Mitchell
Coming off a close decision win against Charles Jourdain, Fili is known for putting on electric shows. His knack for mixing in his wrestling may prove to be dangerous against a blackbelt like Mitchell. As long as that circumstance does not present itself, Fili’s veteran savvy IQ and superior boxing volume should give the Arkansas native fits. In addition to the boxing discrepancy, Fili enjoys a significant four inch reach advantage in this fight. All in all, this fight could be determined by who manages distance more discretely.
An important factor in “Touchy Fili” getting the victory is his shot selection from range. Since Fili is great at gauging the pace of a fight, he knows when to explode and when to draw back. Despite losing against Sodiq Yusuff, Fili showed incredible speed and wrestling technique. The Team Alpha Male mainstay fell short, but indicated that he can control a fighter late into rounds, showing yet another wrinkle in his evolving game. As shown above, if Fili puts it all together against Mitchell, it will be him on the fast track to some very big fights in the future.
It’s no secret that Mitchell’s clearest path to victory is closing the distance and making it a grappling-heavy fight. However that is not to say Mitchell cannot strike, but the majority of the athlete’s finishes come by way of submission. The Arkansas fighter is great at closing distance and grabbing arms during striking exchanges. Once Mitchell gets an arm or leg he can go to work. Being the second man to pull off a twister submission in UFC competition, his grappling skills are methodical and efficient.
Even though Mitchell’s body lock take down isn’t the prettiest, it gets the job done. Against Charles Rosa, he was able to take down the bigger man and control him there. Also, Mitchell may have opportunities to catch probing kicks at the start of the fight. By doing so, he can easily pick up a single leg sweep take down. Overall Fili and Mitchell present a unique fight where Fili looks to stand his ground from the young upstart in what could easily be hailed “fight of the night”.
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