UFC Vegas 30 grants fight fans a heavyweight main event with huge implications between Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov. However, there is one fight on the main card that may just have the fight of the night written all over it. Andre Fili vs Daniel Pineda is as fan-friendly of a bout as you will see on this card, with both men looking to make a statement and keep clawing their way closer to a top fifteen opponent. Join us as we preview Andre Fili vs Daniel Pineda and discuss their paths to victory!
Andre Fili vs Daniel Pineda: Meet the Fighters
Andre “Touchy” Fili
Andre Fili enters UFC Vegas 30 looking to get back in the win column following his last outing where he lost a decision to Bryce Mitchell. At just 30 years old, Fili has a 21-8 (9-7 in UFC) record and is one of the most experienced fighters in this stacked featherweight division. A fan favorite, who constantly pushes for the finish, he will need this same mentality when standing across from the always dangerous Daniel Pineda.
Fili debuted in the UFC back in 2013 at the age of 23 and he has grown up in front of the fans’ eyes. While he has had a very back-and-forth career within the promotion, every fight has shown just how game Filli is, no matter who the opponent is. Losses to former champion Max Holloway, top-ten fighters such as Yair Rodriguez and Calvin Kattar, and rising stars like Sodiq Yusuff and the aforementioned Mitchell prove that Andre Fili does not steer away from a challenge. Fili has never suffered back-to-back losses in the UFC but instead has bounced back each time with a win and an ever-improving skillset.
Will this pattern stay the same at UFC Vegas 30 or will Daniel Pineda prove too much to handle? If history chooses to repeat itself, fans are in store for a tough, gritty, well-rounded performance from Fili. One thing is certain, “Touchy” Fili will need to be ready at all times to stay clear of the finishing prowess that Pineda holds.
Daniel “The Pit” Pineda
A seasoned UFC veteran in his own right, Daniel Pineda has had to fight through adversity time and time again during his professional career. “The Pit” comes into this UFC Vegas 30 main card outing with over 40 fights under his belt, bolstering a record of 27-14, 2 NC (4-5 in UFC). However, the nine fights in the UFC have come throughout two separate stints with the promotion.
“The Pit” debuted for the UFC back in 2012, earning two straight victories and looking like a promising prospect. However, after starting hot, Pineda would go on to lose four of his next five bouts and subsequently get cut from the promotion. After spending time in other prominent organizations such as LFC, Bellator, LFA, and the PFL, Pineda earned his way back onto the roster in the Fall of 2020, losing only two fights out of twelve while away from the UFC.
Pineda’s UFC return saw him smash through highly touted prospect Herbert Burns after facing early trouble and picked up a second-round TKO victory. Following this, we saw Daniel take on a crafty veteran in Cub Swanson, and after a back and forth brawl, Swanson would end up getting the knockout victory. Now entering the third fight of his resurgence within the UFC, Daniel Pineda finds himself in a dire position. Should he pick up a big win over a solid name in Fili, there could be bright things ahead. However, a loss may prove to be the beginning of the end for his second UFC run.
Andre Fili vs Daniel Pineda: Fight Breakdown
Andre Fili vs Daniel Pineda has violence written all over it. Two hungry fighters coming off of losses looking to bounce back in a big way. Both combining for 25 UFC fights and having been in there with some very stern competition, the time is now for each man to make a statement.
Andre Fili has shown over the years his love for a standup war, as well as a solid grappling game. He is not afraid to get into a firefight but also has the wherewithal to play it patiently and pick his shots. His speed and ability to move about the octagon is where he can find success in this bout against the more stagnant, power puncher that is Pineda. Should he choose to grapple, Fili may find success, but could also put himself in danger considering Daniel has 18 submission victories.
Speaking of submission wins, not only does Daniel Pineda get it done on the mat, but he also has nine victories by way of KO/TKO. So yes, if you add those up, he holds an astonishing 100% finish rate, which is quite terrifying considering he is approaching 30 wins in his professional career. “The Pit” showed in his most recent bout against Swanson that he will come out and bang from start to finish, and is willing to “take one to give one.” While Fili isn’t known for one-shot knockout power, he can be very precise and if the right combination lands, Pineda could find himself in trouble.
The biggest question mark in this fight is whether or not it will get taken into the grappling realm. As mentioned, Pineda has plenty of submissions that he can pull out of his sleeve. For Fili, while he may not have the BJJ up to par with Pineda’s numbers, he possesses a very strong wrestling foundation, solid transitions, and the ability to maintain top position.
Should the fight stay standing, do not blink, because someone may be going to sleep. The slick movement and combinations from Fili, mixed with the power and precision of Pineda may equate to a quick night out for either gentleman. As stated at the beginning of this article and to reiterate it one last time in the end, this has all the makings of the fight of the night and leaving fans begging for more!
Let us know in the comments what your predictions are for Andre Fili vs Daniel Pineda!