Before Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare take center stage,a pair of free wheelin' Featherweights will look to inspire the raucous crowd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Ginasio do Maracanazinho on March 21, 2015. 11-3 14-2
The Match Up
Featherweight Godofredo Castro 11-3 vs. Andre Fili 14-2
Featherweight Godofredo Castro +220 vs. Andre Fili -280
3 Things You Should Know
1. Godofredo Castro is a solid mixed martial artist who happens to be one of the better TUF: Brazil products the show has seen. What that actually means in the context of UFC longevity is anyone's guess.
Castro is what you expect out of most TUF: Brazil products - raw, unrefined, but passionate. Castro has a solid pedigree, but he has yet to put it all together into one proper, face punching, arm snapping, package. Granted, that's exactly what he looked like in his last outing against Dashon Johnson, but Fili is a considerably better fighter than Johnson.
2. Fili is not what you'd expect out of an Alpha Male product, and frankly, that's ok.
Fighters need not assume the identity of their camps. I sometimes feel this happens more than it should; coaches and gyms trying to impress on a fighter an identity that isn't tailored towards their natural method of pugilism. It's important for fighters to forge their own identity. This is why some fighters benefit from training out of small camps, while others languish in the larger ones. Fili is a fairly traditional kickboxer with some offensively gifted ground skills, and he continues to refine his skills, as could be seen against the underrated Felipe Arantes.
3. There's pretty much nothing wrong with the odds. Fili is dynamic, Castro is porous, and both are active. If you can think of a better formula for a win I'd like to see it.
Oh right. We're fresh off Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos. Sure RDA pulled off a brilliant strategy, but why not think Castro has some of that Cordeiro led magic in him?
Fili will have the advantage on the feet. He's got a slew of weapons here, although less at range, despite his height and reach. He's excellent in the pocket, where his knees can take over. This was evident in his debut against Larson who he absolutely abused with the Muay Thai plum. I wouldn't be surprised to see him do likewise against Castro, who won't have the strength to effectively counter in close.
He owns a good set of punches, and wild, but efficient mechanics. While he's good on the ground, he's better on the feet, which makes Castro's potential path to victory that much more obvious. Castro just doesn't have the wrestling game to really impose his will in Fili. I don't expect this bout to be easy. Fili still has a few weaknesses, but he doesn't have the kind of weaknesses that Castro can capitalize on with regularity without being threatened himself at very turn, punch, kick, and clinch.
Andre Fili by TKO, round 2.