UFC Lincoln’s Andre Fili recently shot his on-screen debut in an upcoming Netflix movie, but he remains focused on himself, and proving he’s the best 145lb fighter in the world.
Lincoln, NB — Don’t look now, but Andre Fili is a budding movie star. The featherweight, set to face Michael Johnson in the co-main event of UFC Lincoln this weekend, recently filmed a role in the film Green Fever. Produced by Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber, the film will air on Netflix, and is the story of a home invasion at a marijuana grow up.
Fili is in good company as he dips his toe in the acting pool. Fellow MMA veterans Michael Bisping, Ronda Rousey, Max Holloway, Randy Couture, Gina Carano, and Roy Nelson are among many who have dabbled in on screen roles. Fili talked about the role, and more importantly his fight over the weekend, at the UFC Lincoln media day on Thursday.
“It was a really fun experience, I got to play a character that was fun to play in a movie that was actually done really well,” Fili said of the film role. “You see a lot of fighters that are in movies, you’ve all seen it, it’s like the B-rated action movie, where the fighter jumps in, he throws the spinning back kick, he gets shot off screen, that’s it. This was a movie that was really character driven, it had a really strong narrative. I have between five and seven real talking scenes where I actually got to be a character, and my character was important to the narrative. So it was like a real acting job, which is what I was looking for, I really enjoy acting, I really enjoy being creative in different outlets. It was such a rad experience, and I’m looking to do it again.”
“I’ve been in the game over a decade. I’ve seen Michael Johnson fight, I know what he’s good at.”
With the production team behind Green Fever tackling additional projects, Fili may have more opportunities down the road. For now, however, it’s back to the UFC octagon. On that front, “I feel great,” Fili said. Looking at his development, he added that “everything’s coming together, I feel like I’m really at the peak. I’m the best I’ve ever been right now. There’s definitely been ups and downs, but the thing that I’ve really started focusing on, especially maybe this past year, is just focusing on what I can actually control.”
For example, “people ask you questions about your last fights, or where you see yourself, or your opponent’s last fights or how he’s performing. I don’t give a s*it about any of that.”
“The only thing I can control is my preparation and my performance,” Fili continued. “I can control myself. That’s hard enough, making sure that you do everything right. F*ck all the distractions. I’m only here to make sure I do everything that I can do to be the best fighter I can be.”
Saying he’s laser focused, Fili added that “all I care about is my preparation and my performance.”
Though the focus is on Fili himself, that doesn’t mean ‘Touchy Fili’ is completely ignoring opponent Michael Johnson. “I watch a little bit of tape. I’m a student of the game, I’ve been training since I was fourteen,” said Fili. “I’ve been in the game over a decade. I’ve seen Michael Johnson fight, I know what he’s good at.”
Aside from watching a little bit of video, however, he lets his coaches “worry about dissecting tape,” and focuses on what he needed to worry about, mainly his own development. Fili also feels he’s the best featherweight out there. “I fought the world champion, I’m the best 45’er in the world, I know that. I’ve got the rounds to prove it.”
As for the co-main event at UFC Lincoln, “I think every fight you have is the biggest fight of your life, and this isn’t any different. This is a big one,” he stated. “I’m just ready to perform. I’ve been ready. I’m excited to show you guys.”
UFC Lincoln (UFC Fight Night 135) takes place August 25 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NB. The main card airs live on Fox Sports 1 (TSN 5 in Canada).