A thrilling fight between fringe contenders Andre Fili and Bill Algeo went down at UFC Vegas 60 on Saturday.
The similarities between the two fighters were striking, both being long, lanky action fighters who fans like to watch despite somewhat inconsistent performances as far as winning and losing. Andre Fili looked to get his first win 2020 after losses to Joanderson Brito and undefeated Bryce Mitchell, although Fili ended up with a disappointing no-contest to show for a great performance against Daniel Pineda after an accidental eye poke. Meanwhile, Bill Algeo came into this fight against the formerly ranked Fili after back-to-back wins, both in 2022. This fight was one many fans were looking forward to and the UFC seemed to know it, as the fight was third from the top of the main card.
The fight started with action from the get-go. After a failed Fili head kick attempt he did a little dance that drew a smile from both men and got them to touch gloves again. Early on, Fili’s boxing was accurate and he was throwing, as well as landing, more frequently than Algeo, whose style of keeping his hands down by his hips made his defense porous. Around halfway through the first round, Algeo ducked his head right into a big kick from Fili that staggered Algeo, who was then grounded when trying to clinch up to avoid damage. Fili jumped on the front headlock but could not get a submission or knockout and the Pennsylvania native Algeo escaped before returning to range. He appeared recovered because he soon ate another big head kick, but this time he did not show any sign of being hurt. It was all Fili for most of the round after that as well, he just could not miss with his round kicks and his punches down the middle although Algeo had infrequent moments of success. Bill Algeo was bloodied badly from a gash opened up on his forehead and he walked to his corner after almost definitely dropping the first round on the scorecards.
Algeo did better to start the second round, avoiding more of the offense being sent his way than he did in the first round and landing perhaps his best strike of the fight thus far with a second-minute right hand. Bill made sure to try to swarm forward more instead of being on his backfoot and it paid off initially. However, once Fili got the timing down he regained the momentum somewhat. After three minutes in the round it seemed almost fifty-fifty, very unlike the first, with both men delivering significant damage to their opponent. A spectacular spinning kick at one point landed flush on Andre Fili’s chin but it held up supremely well. Though Algeo was doing better offensively, his defense still had holes as he relied entirely on slipping and avoiding punches due to his hands being always at his waist. Late in the round Algeo attempted a takedown but it failed. However, he used the ensuing clinch to get Fili to the cage and then swarmed him with strikes to punctuate and maybe steal a close round to make the scorecards even at 19-19.
The final round started with more of the same: a frantic striking pace between two warriors that ate and delivered shots equally. Fili was soon able to figure out the timing of Algeo and counter him a few times before timing a reactive single-leg takedown, landing it, and getting on top. He quickly passed to side control and then almost locked up an arm triangle which forced Algeo to give up his back. Fili took full advantage by switching to a body triangle and locking up an extremely tight rear naked choke in an instant. Incredibly, Bill Algeo refused to tap despite the choke being seemingly locked in all the way on two separate occasions. After escaping, Algeo was able to awkwardly punch Fili in the head right behind him for an inordinately long period of time without Fili doing anything to block it. Blood coated both warriors as Fili kept hunting the choke while still eating punches. Although not of the strongest variety its still not fun to eat punches, no matter what. As time ticked down, it seemed that Andre Fili’s extremely close submission attempts were the determining factor in scoring the round, which potentially would determine the result of the whole fight, but the damage Algeo did even with his back taken could make things awkward even though its hard to generate power to punch someone behind you.
When Joe Martinez read the scores all three judges had it 29-28, just in different directions. Two had it Fili’s ways and one for Algeo and so Fili got the split result in an extremely exciting fight. In his post-fight interview, Andre Fili got emotional when he told Daniel Cormier about how he lost a child, alluding to a miscarriage, four weeks before the fight. This heart-wrenching, tear-jerking admission drew sympathy from Cormier, the crowd, and likely from fans around the world.
Official Result: Andre Fili def. Bill Algoe by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)