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UFC 172: Andre Fili vs. Max Holloway preview and prediction



hollowayfiliThis is an easy favorite for FOTN between two young, tough and dynamic fighters who love to strike.

We have seen more of the younger Holloway so far. Even though he is only twenty-two years old this is his eight fight in the UFC. He has gone 4-3 to date facing some of the better fighters at featherweight in his young career.

This is Fili’s second fight in the UFC for the Team Alpha Male prospect. In his debut he got a second round TKO finish of Jeremy Larsen in a fight he took on just 10 days notice. There was no sign of octagon jitters and he looked very comfortable inside of it.

Even though it was a quick finish, we did get to see a little bit of his ground game which was very aggressive from the top and bottom. Looking to do damage with his ground and pound or constantly forcing his opponent to defend submissions.

He is only twenty-three himself and has a bright future in the UFC. This is another tough test for him. Holloway is a much better fighter than Larsen. He is a very technical striker with a good defensive ground game. That is one of the differences between these two young fighters. Fili is much more aggressive with his ground game and has three wins via submissions.

In the Larsen fight he was taken down in the first round. When he was on the bottom he constantly brought his legs up high and forced Larsen to defend against several submissions. The aggression created an opening and Fili used it get a sweep and back up to his feet.

He trains with one of the best teams for the lower weight classes in Team Alpha Male. As a striker first he has a strong and growing ground game.

If he struggles in the standup with Holloway look for him to take the fight to the ground. Fili will have the grappling advantage in this fight.

When it comes to striking they are both talented but different. Holloway has good movement but does not use his length very effectively. Against Conor McGregor he struggled with the bigger but shorter fighter.

In Fili he is facing an equally tall and long opponent and Fili looks to be the bigger and stronger fighter. When he fought Larsen he did come in a little over weight inly able to get down to 148.5 pounds. He did however cut almost 30 pounds in less than 10 days as he weighed 178 pounds when he accepted the fight.

At that time he was scheduled to fight at welterweight. Featherweight is his natural weight class but he will be one of the bigger fights at that weight.

Both fighters have strong chins and like to bang. Expect Fili to be a little more technical in this fight that he was against Larsen. He has had a full training camp to prepare for Holloway and will have a game plan for him.

Holloway is not a one punch knockout striker. He works more off of volume and pace. He likes to push his opponent his damage comes from the accumulation of strikes. He struggled with McGregor who was able to pressure Holloway and dictate the pace and distance of the fight in the standup. After McGregor suffered his knee injury he worked his takedowns to control the last two rounds of the fight.

Fili has the size and skill sets to give Holloway problems. If Holloway had more one strike power I would like his chances. It will be hard for Holloway to hit Fili enough to damage him without getting hurt himself.

Look for Fili to hurt him in the third round in the standup and finish him on the ground for another TKO win. It will be a hard-fought fight with a very close first round. Fili will start to take over in the second and dominate the third before he gets the stoppage.

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny