UFC Fight Night 96 Breakdown: Hacran Dias vs Andre Fili

Hacran DiasPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we preview a featherweight clash between 12th-ranked Hacran Dias and Team Alpha Male product Andre Fili on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 96 in Portland. Hacran Dias (Record: 23-4, -185 Favorite, Power Ranking: B-) The Nova Uniao product had been on a two-fight winning streak before losing a clear decision to Cub Swanson in April of 2016. In a career that spans over 10 years, Dias has still yet to be finished in his career. He has only been fighting in the UFC since 2012 but came into the organization highly regarded as a key training partner for former bantamweight champion Renan Barao and current interim featherweight champ Jose Aldo. He’s a rather stocky featherweight who looks bigger than his 5-foot-8 frame. His striking has improved over the course of his run in the UFC. He looked particularly crisp in a close loss to former title challenger Ricardo Lamas. The problem for Dias in a prolonged standing exchange is his output. Dias is not a volume striker. He only lands on average 2.12 significant strikes per round; one of the lowest outputs in the division. Furthermore, he’s only landed more than 40 significant strikes once in a fight. Although he did do that in his last fight; landing 55 strikes against Cub Swanson. Dias is the type of fighter that does well to push his opponents against the cage and grind out wins. He secures 45 percent of his takedown attempts and has very good takedown defense defending 79 percent of takedowns attempted on him. Dias is not a fighter who is going to blow his opponents away but one who is competitive against any fighter put in front of him. Andre Fili (Record: 15-4, +160 Underdog, Power Ranking: C-) Team Alpha Male’s Andre Fili has been fighting in the UFC since 2013. During that time, he has compiled a 3-3 record in the promotion never winning or losing consecutive fights. At UFC Fight Night 96, he looks to get back to winning ways after being knocked out by Yair Rodriguez at UFC 197 in April 2016. Fili is a young hungry fighter who has so far had mixed results in the UFC. He’s had some success beating lower-end fighters in the UFC’s featherweight division but has not been competitive against the top 15 opponents he has faced. Fili is very long for the weight class with a 73-inch reach. He’s an aggressive fighter with decent pop in his punches. He lands 3.5 significant strikes per minute, but five of his six UFC bouts have ended inside the distance so this number is a bit inflated as he’s been action focused especially early in fights. In the grappling exchanges, he’s very susceptible to the takedown. He’s only defended 45 percent of takedown attempts on him, struggling to stay upright against opponents looking to grapple with him. He’s already been finished four times in his career and three times in the UFC. His aggressive style leaves himself open to the counter and being finished. It’s this over-aggression that has held him back from advancing into the top half of the featherweight division. Matchup This is an interesting matchup in the featherweight division and a very important fight for Fili since it’s a chance to really make a mark in the featherweight division. I see the striking being fairly competitive overall, as Fili is more aggressive but Dias strikes with more power. The difference in this bout comes down to wrestling. Dias is a very capable wrestler and tough to take down. Fili has had some success in getting opponents to the mat, but he has really struggled defending takedowns in his time in the UFC. Look for Dias to secure takedowns in each round of this fight. He may not finish, but he should be able to secure lengthy time in top control in this fight to win a decision. I believe this is one of the most straightforward fights on the card. At -185, I see Dias being a strong parlay piece on this card.

Written by Jay Primetown

Leave a Reply

MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Johnson gets Khabib, does Rousey want Cyborg?

Main Card Parlay for UFC Fight Night 96