Andre Fili is the latest fighter to reveal that he is a free agent.
The UFC featherweight confirmed earlier this week that his fight against Hacran Dias in October, which he won via unanimous decision, was the last bout on his contract with the organization. “Touchy” has yet to re-sign with the UFC, he said, and is currently waiting to hear from the UFC.
Fili believes that, over a month and a half since his upset win over Dias, he is still a free agent, because the UFC has been going through a transition period since July, when the company was sold to WME-IMG. The UFC also recently laid off a large amount of employees from various offices around the world.
“I’m trying to get signed to the UFC right now,” Fili revealed on Stud Show Radio. “Usually, the UFC will fire you or renegotiate and pay you more money when you have one more fight left on your contract. It’s very rare that you finish your fights. I had one more fight left on my contract after the Yair fight — so it worked out well for me, because I was supposed to renegotiate coming off that f-cking loss, which would’ve sucked.
“I kind of slid under the radar. Because I took a fight a fight on three week’s notice, there wasn’t really time to renegotiate my contract. Then I finished my contract out beating Hacran, so now I’m trying to renegotiate my contract. But the UFC is going through a lot of changes and we haven’t had the time.”
Fili did not elaborate further on why he did not end up re-signing with the UFC after his loss to Yair Rodriguez at UFC 197 in April. He did not say whether the UFC approached him after the knockout loss and the two parties could not come to terms or the UFC didn’t.
90 days is the usual length of exclusive negotiation periods, the stretch of time where the UFC can re-sign fighters that fought out their contracts but other organizations cannot. If both sides fail to reach an agreement within that time-frame, however, fighters can negotiate with any other organization. Although, the UFC does have the right to match any agreement offered by another organization before the offer is accepted.
Fili did not confirm that his exclusive negotiation period is indeed 90 days long, but if that’s the case, other mixed martial arts promotions will be eligible to formally offer Fili a contract on Dec. 30.
The 26-year-old is only interested in continuing to fight inside the Octagon.
“Not really entertaining offers from other companies. I want to be in the UFC,” he told BloodyElbow.com Thursday.
Fili doesn’t think he’ll be fighting in the city he trains out of, Sacramento, California, which hosts UFC Fight Night 103 in December, thanks to the slow process that follows fighting out a UFC contract.
“I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be on the Sac card, to be honest,” he said on the Team Alpha Male podcast. “I’m not going to lie. It’s in, like, five weeks. I’m not saying it’s not going to happen, but it’s probably not going to happen.”