Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC 166 Prediction: Andre Fili vs. Jeremy Larsen


*FPR derived from video scouting due to lack of Fight Metric data.

Before I say anything, the first thing I need to do is recommend that you take the above numbers for Andre Fili with a large grain of salt. They are unofficial numbers and the result of me watching Fili’s fights on tape and counting things that happen during the fights. By no means am I suggesting that Fili is really good enough to have an FPR of +4.41. Such an FPR would place him alongside Anthony Pettis, and there’s just no reason to think Fili is that good.

Watching Fili on tape, he had one fight in particular against Ricky Wallace in which referee Marcos Rosales basically let Wallace stagger around the cage after Fili hurt him with strikes. Fili piled up a ton of statistics in that fight which skew his data.

Even so, there are reasons to think Fili could carve out a successful UFC career for himself. He’s a very good athlete who has the ability to explode his way out of bad positions. He’s also a dynamic striker with good power and aggression. He is good at mixing in takedowns as well. Fili is a talented fighter for sure.

Fili is also a flawed fighter. He tends to leave himself open for strikes and his takedown defense is a genuine liability. Fili was taken down five times in the three fights I watched on tape by inferior opponents. In the UFC, where Fili will have to face much tougher opponents, his lack of takedown defense may be his undoing.

Against Jeremy Larsen, I think Fili’s skills should be enough to get his hand raised. Larsen has landed two takedowns in his brief UFC career but wasn’t able to do much with them. He’s a striker first and that means he’ll probably engage with Fili on the feet.

Larsen will have his moments. Striking is his biggest strength as he showed in his last fight against Lucas Martins. Larsen was winning that fight after two rounds mostly due to striking offense. Against an opponent in Fili who is average at best at defending strikes, Larsen will certainly land a decent amount.

I just don’t think it will be enough. Fili is extremely aggressive and likely to land a barrage of strikes on Larsen throughout the fight. To make matters worse Larsen is coming off back-to-back losses by TKO. I think Fili can make it three in a row.

Pick: Andre Fili by TKO


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