Anyone who follows MMA knows that Team Alpha Male is one of the planet’s most recognized gyms, thanks to the accomplishments of Uriah Faber, TJ Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez, Danny Castillo and Chad Mendes. The team’s list of destroyers doesn’t stop there, of course, and one of the Sacramento based team’s rising fighters is the UFC’s Andre Fili.
Now, the 24 year-old Fili is coming off a submission loss to Max Holloway, but before that, the featherweight had won nine in a row, which included a stoppage win over Jeremy Larsen. Fili is scheduled to fight Felipe Arantes at UFC 179 this Saturday, and while talking to UFC.com about the upcoming bout, here’s what “Touchy” had to say about training with Team Alpha Male.
“We get after it, man,” Fili said. “I don’t think any other team spars like we do. We beat the hell out of each other, but we take care of one another as well. There are certain gyms where they go 100 percent and try to hurt each other, but that’s not what we do. We have a perfect chemistry at Team Alpha Male because we push each other hard but everyone helps build everyone else up in the process. “
It’s pretty hard to deny what the gym has accomplished, and of course, if Mendes defeats featherweight champ Jose Aldo this weekend, the team will receive even more praise.
Fili also offered this interesting comment, as to why he eventually decided to drop from lightweight to 145:
“I’ve been with the team for four years and the intensity took some adjusting to. I was 19 when I joined the team and I had never seen sparring like that. I thought I was a 155er andJustin Buchholz and Danny Castillo beat the hell out of me every week until I realized I was a 145er. In my opinion, our team is the best in the world and I truly believe we have something special. We have a bunch of guys who are established and are the best fighters in the world, but we also have a group of talented fighters no one has heard of yet. Iron sharpens iron and we have a lot of big things coming.”
Arantes will be an interesting challenge for Fili, as the Brazilian has competed several times now for the UFC and has gone 3-2-1. Most recently he scored a decision win over Maximo Blanco in February.
UFC 179 will go down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will also feature a light-heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis.