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Dan Ige vs. Andre Fili full fight preview | UFC Vegas 86


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight veterans Dan Ige and Andre Fili will collide this weekend (Sat., Feb. 10, 2024) at UFC Vegas 86 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ige has fought some absurdly tough competition in recent years, coming out the other side of that fire as a gatekeeper into the Top 10. While he hasn’t been quite able to break into title contention, Ige’s action-heavy fighting style and high rate of activity has kept him in the mix and built up a solid fan base.

The same could be said for “Touchy” Fili, an all-action veteran of the roster dating back to 2013. He’s also faced many of the best the Featherweight division has to offer, but a title run has yet to materialize. This match up is a solid opportunity for the veteran to build momentum, however, which perhaps explains his jumping in on short-notice to fight “50k.”

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Dan Ige
Record: 17-7
Key Wins: Edson Barboza (UFC on ESPN 8), Mirsad Bektic (UFC 247), Nate Landwehr (UFC 289), Gavin Tucker (UFC Vegas 21), Damon Jackson (UFC Vegas 67)
Key Losses: Movsar Evloev (UFC Vegas 56), Josh Emmett (UFC 269), Chan Sung Jung (UFC Vegas 29), Calvin Kattar (UFC on ESPN 13), Bryce Mitchell (UFC Vegas 79)
Keys to Victory: Ige is a jiu-jitsu black belt with huge power in his hands. He suffers a bit from Jack of all trades syndrome, having been picked apart by the best boxers and outwrestled by the elite wrestlers, but he’s nevertheless quite good at everything!

This is a really interesting match up in that both of these veterans can do it all, so while they prefer to strike, a takedown attempt from either shouldn’t be a surprise. For Ige, the biggest possible issue here is range, as Fili will hold solid advantages in both height and reach.

It’s hardly the first time Ige has found himself facing those problems, however. Typically, he tackles that differential by moving his feet well at distance, convincing his opponent to come to him, then bursting forward with shifting combinations. It’s a good answer to long range offense, and those bursts can also set up takedowns.

In this bout specifically, Ige should be pushing the pace hard. Fili is the man coming in on just two week’s notice, so attacking the gas tank is always a wise move against an opponent with unknown preparation.

Andre Fili

Record: 23-10 (1)
Key Wins: Dennis Bermudez (UFC on FOX 27), Myles Jury (UFC on ESPN 1), Hacran Dias (UFC Fight Night 96), Charles Jourdain (UFC Vegas 2), Bill Algeo (UFC Vegas 60)
Key Losses: Max Holloway (UFC 172), Bryce Mitchell (UFC Vegas 12), Joanderson Brito (UFC Vegas 53), Sodiq Yusuff (UFC 246)
Keys to Victory: Fili is an crafty kickboxer with power in his hands and shins alike. He’s also an underrated wrestler, able to time a double leg well to gain top position and shift the tide in some close fights.

As mentioned, range is important here. Ige is likely to try to get Fili moving forward then time him coming in, which can be an easy trap to fall into for longer strikers. Fortunately, Fili has the feints and power kicking game necessary to avoid that pitfall.

I’d like to see Fili working behind his jab, trying to counter Ige’s low kicks with straight shots. From that range, Fili should be able to shift stances with the goal of taking angles, allowing him to blast powerful body and head kicks. He’s not historically much of a calf kicker, but that’s always a good option against mobile targets.

If Fili can convince Ige that he has to press forward, “Touchy” can flip the scrap by planting his feet and running Ige into powerful blows.

Bottom Line

Ige’s No. 13 spot in the rankings is on the line here.

At this point, Ige is fighting more up-and-comers than men ranked above him. That’s the difficult nature of having lost to several contenders above him on the ladder: opportunities to advance become harder and harder to come by. Similar to the recent Nate Landwehr and Damon Jackson bouts, Ige has to turn away a difficult-but-unranked challenge to keep his current footing.

Speaking of numbers next to names, Fili has beaten a handful of ranked contenders over the years. However, he has yet to build the kind of consistent win streak that results in consistency in those ranks. At 33 years of age, the time is now for “Touchy” to break back into the rankings and put together a new streak.

At UFC Vegas 86, Dan Ige and Andre Fili will throw down in the co-main event. Which man earns the victory?

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 86 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 86: “Pyfer vs. Hermansson” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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