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UFC Fight Night: Eye vs Calvillo: Fili vs Jourdain Preview

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Next up, we have an interesting Featherweight clash between prospects Andre “Touchy” Fili and Charles “Air” Jourdain.  This bout exemplifies the depth and skill-level in the 145 division.  The pair are young, exciting prospects with excellent records who aren’t even ranked.  A win for both men would probably pave the way to a ranked opponent if they’re to have their hand raised on Saturday night.  This fight, on a relatively weak card, is certainly one of the better contests of the night.  Don’t miss it! Here’s our Fili vs Jourdain preview.

Fili Background

Fili (20-7) is coming off a decision loss to Sodiq Yusuff in January, earlier this year.  This, unfortunately, has become a reoccurring theme for the Team Alpha Male athlete.  While Fili is clearly talented, he’s lacked consistency and went on a spell from 2014 to 2017 where he went 3-4.  That run really derailed the path that he looked to be on.  He has never looked as much of a threat since the loss to Max Holloway, which started the skid. 

Fili Celebrates Victory. Photo by: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

That said, Fili has fought some of the best Featherweight has to offer.  He’s gone the distance with former FW king, Max Holloway, lost a decision to Calvin Kattar (who has since rocketed up the division) and has also fought Dennis Bermudez and Michael Johnson.  He’s been tested against the elite and although he’s come up short, he’s gained invaluable experience in the process.

Jourdain Background

Jourdain is a hot prospect at 145, and at just 24, he’s got a very bright future.  He’s coming off his best performance to date against a warrior in Doo Ho Choi.  He finished Choi in the 2nd round, which is a rare feat.  Choi has only been finished twice in his career and showed his insane durability against Cub Swanson.  So, for Jourdain to have that under his belt at the age of 24, it really highlights his potential.

Fili vs Jourdain
Photo by: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

Another scary accomplishment is his 100% finish rate to this point in his career.  Jourdain is now 10-2 as a professional and has finished the fight in every one of his victories.  This is even more impressive as he’s fought at Featherweight.  While there are KO/submission artists at 145, having a 100% finish rate at Featherweight is an incredible accolade.  That ability to close the show has generated a lot of talk about where he could potentially fit into the upper echelon at 145.

Something else to note is that Jourdain was a sizable underdog against Choi and displayed his best performance.  Fili will have to be very mindful of the Canadian’s ability to step up when the stakes are high, and Fili is certainly a name that Jourdain would like to add to his already impressive resume.

Fili Breakdown

As mentioned previously, Fili has bags of talent but has lacked the final product in recent years.  At 29, while still relatively young, he can still put a run together.  That said, he’s 7-6 since 2014 and if he has any real ambitions of climbing the division, this is an absolute must-win.  Particularly as he’s coming off a loss.

Prior to that, however, he KO’d Sheymon Moraes, which resulted in a Performance of the Night victory.  This is what Fili is capable of any given night, but he’s struggled against people who fight at a fast pace and aren’t afraid to engage in a slugfest.  On the contrary, though, Fili has shown his ability as a counter-striker and this has on full display against Moraes.  Moraes got too aggressive and Fili countered beautifully with a huge right-uppercut to end Moraes’ night.  When composed, Fili is at his best but has been seen to get flustered when opposition presses the action.

Fili vs Jourdain
Fili lands a big left hand. Photo by: UFC

Fili is known to switch stances regularly; he throws a lot of feints and is a well-rounded striker.  For him to taste victory on Saturday, he will need to adopt the same approach against Moraes and look for that opening that he can capitalize.  He used feints to lure Moraes into pressing forward and then perfectly placed that right hand.  It was an impressive victory, but he cannot engage in a rock’em sock’em battle with Jourdain.  He’s got to pick his moments and stay patient and wait for an opening.  As Jourdain is aggressive, this could work in Fili’s favor, but he needs to respect Jourdain’s power.

Jourdain Breakdown

This is an exciting test for Jourdain.  His ability to turn his opponents’ lights off in the blink of an eye is worrisome for any opponent at 145.  While he needs to focus on getting carried away, Jourdain is as well-rounded as it gets and is far from a one-trick pony.  He throws vicious spinning attacks; he’s shown to be lethal in the clinch with powerful knees and uppercuts and he’s also got three submission victories to date too.

Jourdain also fights quite long, despite being shorter with a 5” reach deficit against Fili.  He looks far bigger and longer than that though and closes distance brilliantly.  He throws unpredictable spinning back fists, he is super aggressive in the clinch and has clean and crisp boxing which gives him a great foundation.  In the clinch, he wraps up the neck of his opponents and always appears to threaten a guillotine.  If he doesn’t get you with that, you can be sure that you’re going to eat several knees up against the cage.

Fili vs Jourdain
Jourdain lands a heavy left hand on Choi. Photo by: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Image

At 24, though, he’s still relatively inexperienced and can lose composure.  Against a seasoned opponent in Fili, this could result in him getting caught when closing the distance if he’s too aggressive.  That said, Jourdain showed off his chin against Choi who is known for being a heavy hitter.  Jourdain was not afraid to throw down with Choi and ate some big shots before finishing him.  Similar to the way the Korean Zombie eats shots while constantly moving forward.  But, while Fili isn’t known as a KO artist, he can trouble Jourdain and he needs to also be respectful against a worthy opponent.

Fili vs Jourdain Breakdown

This has all the makings of a mostly stand-up contest between two very capable strikers.  Both are quite technically sound, but Jourdain certainly holds the advantage in power and unpredictability.  While Fili is well-rounded, his striking is straightforward. Fili isn’t known to throw much into the mix that’s outside of his comfort zone.  Jourdain, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to throw anything, as mentioned previously.

A big element of this fight will be centered around Fili trying to keep Jourdain at distance.  Fili is 5’11 with a big reach advantage, so while this seems more than possible on paper, Fili fights in a low stance and has not always used his length advantage in his favor.  This may be due to training with shorter guys like Uriah Faber and Cody Garbrandt throughout his career.  If he can keep Jourdain at range, that is his best chance of winning via decision, Fili’s most likely path to victory.

As always, you can expect Jourdain to be aggressive and look for a dogfight.  This is when he’s at his best, but he needs to be somewhat cautious.  If he can do that, he’s got the power to put Fili away.  Fili has also had his battles in the clinch over the years. This is an area that Jourdain must look to exploit.  He’s masterful in the clinch as discussed and if he can close that distance, he can cause Fili some real issues in that department.


Fili is far from a slouch, but Jourdain looks like an incredibly hungry and dangerous opponent.  Fili will need to be at his very best to beat Jourdain. Particularly as the latter has a lot of weapons that can cause Fili issues.  The Canadian is at his best when he’s aggressive, but he can’t lunge forward and be too overeager.  If he can maintain that balance, he is likely to hurt Fili in the pocket with his variety of weapons he possesses.

On the flip side, it would be foolish to rule Fili out.  With nearly 30 professional fights, Fili has far more experience. You can bank on him and his camp setting up a solid game plan.  That in mind, it’s important to note that Jourdain’s two losses have both come by way of decision. That is how Fili wins a lot of his fights.  If Fili can avoid Jourdain’s power, he can very well out-point him as he’s an active and accurate striker.


Jourdain via TKO (Round 2)

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