One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 62 is a three-round featherweight bout between Andre Fili and Godofredo Pepey. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Fili is a -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100) while Pepey is a +240 underdog (bet $100 to win $240). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Fili at -280 and Pepey at +200, and the line has basically held steady as Fili is still a sizeable favorite heading into this matchup. I agree that Fili should be favored in this fight. Here’s why. Fili (14-2) is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Jeremy Larsen and Felipe Arantes and a loss to Max Holloway. The 24-year-old American trains at Team Alpha Male alongside studs like Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez. Unlike his training partners, who are mostly grapplers, Fili is a striker. He has a very good muay Thai base and is dangerous with all of his limbs. He has seven T/KO wins in his career which proves he has finishing ability. His wrestling serviceable, but not great, so he will likely have problems when he fights the better wrestlers in the featherweight division. I like Fili and believe he has a bright future in the sport, and despite his setback to Holloway, I still believe in his potential and agree in his favorite status over Pepey. Pepey (11-3) was a TUF 1 competitor and has since gone on to post a 3-3 record in the UFC with wins over Dashon Johnson, Noad Lahat and Milton Vieira with losses to Sam Sicilia, Felipe Arantes and Rony Jason. Pepey is a dangerous, explosive fighter, especially in the submission department. He is able to land subs from many positions and in his career he has seven submission victories. He has explosive striking, as well, as exemplified in his flying knee KO win over Lahat. However, he has two big problems: poor wrestling and a bad chin. He’s been put on his back many times and he’s been knocked out twice in the UFC as well. If he can avoid getting put on his back or having his chin clipped he has a good chance of winning fights, but with those two flaws so obvious, it’s hard to confidently pick him against a dangerous fighter like Fili, his opponent this weekend. I’ve been impressed with the strides Pepey has made as of late, but I just don’t see him getting through Fili. I believe the American has the edge in the striking and wrestling departments and I think he has what it takes to put the pressure on Pepey and potentially finish him. You can’t count Pepey totally out of this fight just because of his explosiveness and because he has the edge in submissions, but Fili should win this fight, likely by TKO. Still, it’s a bit risky since we’ve seen how well Pepey performs in Brazil, so I think at the current line it’s a pass, but I do lean towards the American to get the job done in this spot.
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