When you look at it closely, the UFC’s featherweight division is rich with talent. Headed by Alexander Volkanovski, there are heavy-hitters all over the place. Two fighters that are looking to gain some momentum will try and enter the top fifteen in the rankings.
Both Andre Fili and Charles Jourdain are set to compete on the main card of UFC on ESPN 10 from inside the UFC’s APEX Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. You might want to keep your eyes on this bout, as both could very well steal the show. Fili and Jourdain are known to keep a strong pace in their bouts, and never seem to disappoint. For Jourdain, this is a chance for him to show he is the real deal in the UFC. As for Fili, he is hoping to right what he believes to be wrong and gain a respectable record.
On the latest “Why Should I Care“, FIGHT SPORTS looks into the featherweight bout this weekend, June 13, featuring Andre Fili and Charles Jourdain.
A veteran in the UFC, Fili (20-7) is 3-2 in his last five fights, and 2-1 in his last three. Debuting in the UFC in 2013, Fili has faced some of the top contenders in the division (Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, Michael Johnson) but has always come up short. He won two fights in 2019, beating Myles Jury and Sheymon Moraes. In his last bout in January, he lost to Sodiq Yusiff via unanimous decision. Confident in his ability, Fili’s mindset heading into the fight will be that of a fighter on an impressive streak.
“I think I’m on the right track – there’s just been a few hiccups. I think I won the Sodiq fight,” Fili stated to MMA Junkie. “I definitely think I won the Michael Johnson fight. You take those two decisions and turn them the right way, and I’m on a six-fight streak. That’s what I choose to focus on.”
The 29-year-old has nine wins via knockout and has been known to be an excellent striker. Given his veteran persona, however, he may stick to the ground game, where according to The Stats Zone he has a 2.5 takedown average to go with a 45% takedown accuracy range.
Jourdain (10-2) joined the UFC in 2019 following a stint at TKO MMA. On a four-fight win streak, he lost to Desmond Green via unanimous decision in May. He then ended the year on a high note, beating Doo Ho Choi back in December via TKO. He ended up earning $50,000 for the Fight of the Night bonus but has still not moved out of his mom’s basement.
A two-division champion with TKO, Jourdain was supposed to fight at UFC Saskatoon on June 20, but that was postponed due to the coronavirus. At one point, in an interview with Yahoo Sports, Jourdain discussed how he got into MMA after being welcomed by Team Alpha Male while being under house arrest. He was able to then make MMA his job. Now, he will get a chance to impress under the bright lights of Las Vegas. Taking on legitimate stars, Jourdain is ready for any challenge that comes his way.
“In my opinion, everybody in the UFC is dangerous in their own way,” Jourdain stated, via the UFC. “But I prefer my opponents to have the credentials: the name, the hype, the fame behind them. Knowing that I’m fighting Fili, the No. 18 in the world, is a big step up…and nobody can say I took shortcuts.
“I’m taking the dangerous road. That’s what made my name in the TKO organization as a double weight-class champion. I fought all the guys that people were telling me were too dangerous. I made my brand off taking dangerous fights, and I think I’m doing the same in the UFC.”
With the APEX Center not allowing an audience due to COVID-19, the crowd-pleaser in Jourdain is ready to change it up and just focus on how hard his strikes will sound when they hit Fili. It is almost something that excites him; to hear what damage has been done to his opponent.
Featherweights have been known to put on a show. Fili will look to silence the newcomer while Jourdain will look to leave his mark. Which fighter will prove to UFC President Dana White that they are ready to take it to the next level?
The main card of UFC on EPSN 10 will start at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.