Andre Fili says his life inside and outside the cage is finally all coming together after seeing his father for the first time in 17 years, and culminating with his win over Sheymon Moraes at UFC Sacramento.
The Team Alpha Male product knocked out his opponent last Saturday night, securing a $50,000 bonus for the finish and capping off a successful night in which teammates Benito Lopez, Josh Emmett and the returning Urijah Faber all picked up impressive wins.
The 29-year-old Fili revealed that his life outside of the cage had changed significantly as he had his father in the audience, whom he hadn’t seen in 17 years after he was released from prison recently (transcribed via MMAJunkie.com):
“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 said. “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.”
Fili has now won four of his past five fights and is gaining some momentum in the division. “Touchy” admitted the success inside the cage is a by-product of his life outside the cage where he believes everything in finally coming good:
“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.”
Fili credits his mentor Faber, who came out of retirement and made an impressive return by knocking out the surging Ricky Simon in under a minute. Fili said he was happy that he’s been able to make Faber proud with his development in the sport and credited the veteran by taking a chance on him as a young man.
“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.”