The subpar judging at UFC Charlotte continued in the co-main event, with Andre Fili taking a close split decision from Dennis Bermudez.
Andre Fili is an inconsistent Team Alpha Male product who has alternated wins and losses since entering the UFC in 2013. Fili had plenty of momentum after beating ranked foe Hacran Dias, but could not keep it going after losing to Calvin Kattar. He was able to bounce back by defeating Artem Lobov at UFC Gdansk.
Dennis Bermudez was a runner-up of The Ultimate Fighter, but has since been much more successful than his opponent that night, Diego Brandao. Bermudez once went on a seven-fight win streak which included a win over current UFC champion Max Holloway. Since then, Bermudez has sandwiched a two-fight win streak in between a pair of two-fight losing streaks.
Dennis Bermudez got in the face of Andre Fili early on with stiff jabs to the face of Fili. Bermudez shot for a takedown but Fili bounced off the fence and broke free. Bermudez continued to stay behind his jab to make up for his reach disadvantage. Bermudez clinched up with Fili against the fence but couldn’t make anything of his double underhooks.
Fili began to establish his own jab, then took down the wrestler Bermudez. “The Menace” bounced back up fairly quickly and jabbed Fili to the fence again, then finishing with a hard right hook.
Fili landed a left straight then timed a nice takedown to end the round, although Bermudez bounced back up before the bell.
Bermudez charged in right away with a takedown attempt but Fili shucked him off. Bermudez closed in again but nothing happened from the clinch. Fili landed a nice jab and Bermudez charged again, this time lifting Fili up, but he was unable to finish the takedown.
Bermudez started to commit to low kicks as Fili was countering with straight punches. Fili was hobbled mildly by the kicks and threw a weak high kick. Bermudez pushed Fili against the fence yet again, and again Fili defended. Fili shot for his own takedown but Bermudez defended effectively, then Fili was successful on attempt number two. Bermudez bounced up shortly after and landed a hard hook to end the round.
Bermudez started the round with a body shot and a couple of leg kicks. Fili answered with a jab and a takedown effort that was defended. Bermudez defended a few more takedown attempts, one by leaping in the air and spinning to avoid control. Bermudez kept the pressure on Fili, who was struggling to deal with his lead leg.
Bermudez clinched up then accidentally kneed Fili below the belt. After the action resumed, Bermudez pressured Fili hard. His straight punches began to land more consistently as did the leg kicks. Fili shot for a takedown but Bermudez had none of it. Finally with 15 seconds left, Bermudez was able to bring Fili down. Fili reversed position but Bermudez stood up as that was happening.
Andre Fili def. Dennis Bermudez by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 27-30)