Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Godofredo Pepey and Andre Fili collided last night (Sat., March 21, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 62 inside Ginasio do Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
One of the division's brighter prospects, Fili, was looking to make a statement with this fight. By taking out the Brazilian, Fili was hoping to climb up another rung of the featherweight ladder.
Meanwhile, Pepey was looking to build off the success of his last two bonus-winning performances. In addition, Pepey finally had a chance to announce himself as a legitimate contender, rather than The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" also-ran.
The Brazilian certainly looked dangerous.
Pepey look to open the bout with some flashy strikes, but nothing connected. As the fighters looked to find their range, Pepey shot in for a takedown. He landed it briefly, but Fili defended using an overhook and was back on his feet quickly.
However, Pepey held onto the clinch. When Fili reversed position and pressed Pepey against the fence, the Brazilian jumped onto a flying triangle. It wasn't sunk all the way in, but Pepey controlled his opponent's posture enough to adjust.
For the next two minutes, Pepey squeezed his triangle and adjusted. Fili hung in there for some time, but eventually Pepey found the necessary position and finished the hold.
This was pretty classic Pepey. On his feet, he looked pretty weak defensively, but his awkward and dangerous offensive output prevented his opponent from capitalizing on it, at least early on.
Once Pepey latched onto Fili, he did what he needed to. Pepey was outmatched on his feet, and judging by the first wrestling exchange, takedowns weren't really an option for the Brazilian either. Thus, a jumping submission certainly made sense for Pepey.
Pepey was clearly in his element once he secured the triangle. It definitely took some time, but Pepey was not letting that submission go for anything.
For the Brazilian's next match, he should get another featherweight on the rise. For example, a match with Mirsad Bektic would make sense.
Things were going fairly well for Fili until his opponent attempted a flying triangle. Going into this fight, the general consensus was that Fili had the advantage, and it was up for Pepey to make something crazy happen.
Which he did.
While the loss undoubtedly stings, it's not the end of the world for the Team Alpha Male representative. At just 24 years old, Fili has plenty of time to continue to develop. For his next match up, expect Fili to battle with someone in the middle of the division like Jim Alers.
At UFC Fight Night 62, Godofredo Pepey submitted Andre Fili in a wild flying triangle. How high can the submission ace climb in the featherweight division?
For complete UFC Fight Night 62 "Maia vs LaFlare" results and play-by-play, click HERE!