UFC 172 Play: Max “Blessed” Holloway (+140) vs Andre “Touchy” Fili (-150)

FILI-webUFC 172 Date: April 26, 2014 Arena: Baltimore Arena City: Baltimore, MD Featherweight bout: Max “Blessed” Holloway (+140) vs Andre “Touchy” Fili (-150) Fight Breakdown: Kicking things off for the UFC 172 main card on Pay Per View is a featherweight contest that should have fight fans at the edge of their seats. Excitement is expected tonight when Hawaii’s Max “Blessed” Holloway takes on California’s Andre “Touchy” Fili. Holloway is a bit of an underdog in this match-up at +140 ($100 to win $140), with the Team Alpha Male product being the favorite at -150 ($150 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. MAX “BLESSED” HOLLOWAY (8-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) bounced back to the win column at UFC Fight Night 34 over three months ago with a second round TKO over the recently released Will “The Kill” Chope. Holloway is a very talented striker who moves really well on the feet. His footwork is excellent, and he uses his range really well. He is good at moving in and out, and has fantastic striking technique. He likes to put all of his limbs to use, and puts together some great combinations on the feet. However, I am not convinced he is much of a finisher, even though he now owns two TKO finishes in his UFC tenure. The Hawaiian, like most Islanders, is very durable and possesses a great chin. His submission game is decent, and always improving, as he likes to work on his all-around game to be a full mixed martial artist, though he makes it no secret that he is always looking to strike. Holloway has great takedown defense, and when taken down, he is active off his back, though not too effective. He generally has good conditioning, though I don’t think he will have the edge in that department in this match-up against Fili. If anything, he should be at a disadvantage. Regardless, I think he’ll be able to go all three rounds, should the fight see the distance. Andre “Touchy” Fili (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was impressive in his promotional debut at UFC 166 last October, facing Jeremy Larsen on short notice and defeating him via TKO in the second round. He is aggressive on the feet and enjoys a good brawl, often willing to take two in order to land one. He has a nice kicking game, working solid leg kicks and body kicks, not to mention a solid head kick. He does a good job of setting up his head kicks. Fili is very fast and does a great job of striking from range, as well from inside the pocket. He dishes out a high volume of strikes and is quite effective with them. He is brutal with his knees and loves to implement them in his striking attack. “Touchy” has a good uppercut, works a nice jab and puts together some solid combinations on the feet. He has an effective straight right, as well as a hard overhand right. His takedown defense is average at best, but when taken down, he is pretty good at finding his way back to his feet. Also, he has an excellent guard and is dangerous off his back, as he constantly threatens with submission attempts, and is very good at scoring reversals. The 23 year old had a good wrestling, as well as a solid offensive submission game. As far as his ground and pound goes, he is very relentless. Training out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA, Fili is a well-conditioned mixed martial artist who will be able to all 15 minutes against the Hawaiian. Gabe’s Prediction: I am giving Fili a slight edge on the feet, mainly for his aggression. He also has the advantage on the mat. This should be a close fight, but I favor the Team Alpha Male product to head back to California with a second Octagon victory under his belt. Gabe’s Call: “Touchy” by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Andre Fili (-150) 3u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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