SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It seems like it’s all coming together for Andre Fili in and out of the cage.
This past Saturday night at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., Fili scored a first-round, bonus-winning knockout win over Sheymon Moraes at UFC on ESPN+ 13 in front of his home crowd.
And a special member was in attendance for the first time – his father, whom he hadn’t seen in 17 years.
“My dad just got out of prison, and I haven’t seen him in about 17 years and I saw him for the first time last night,” Fili told MMA Junkie after the fight. “He was here at the fight today, and if you think you’re going to beat my (expletive) in front of my dad, it’s not going to happen. If you think you’re going to beat my (expletive) in front of my little sister, it’s not going to happen. If you think you’re going to beat my (expletive) in front of all the kids I grew up with, like raising each other, scrapping, scrounging and trying to survive with each other, it’s not going to happen.”
After an inconsistent start to his UFC career, Fili (20-6 MMA, 8-5 UFC) is finally hitting his stride with wins in four of his past five fights. His dream has always remained the same while he continues to climb the rankings: to become a world champion.
“I’m honestly just a little overwhelmed,” Fili said. “I just feel like everything is coming together in and out of fighting. Just in life, everything’s coming together. I just turned 29 a couple of weeks ago and I feel like I’m almost starting to get this figured out.”
And he joined his teammates Benito Lopez, Josh Emmett and the retuning Urijah Faber, who all picked up big wins. Faber came back emphatically, with a knockout over Ricky Simon in less than a minute.
Fili credits Faber for opening the doors for him when he was still a kid trying to figure life out.
“Urijah invested in me when there was almost nothing worth investing in,” Fili said. “And to be able to make him proud and make the team proud and represent in our city, I can’t put it into words. It’s one of the best feelings I ever had.”
Check out the full post-fight interview with Fili in the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Andre Fili reunites with father for first time in 17 years at UFC on ESPN+ 13