UFC 303: Andre Fili Ekes Out Decision Over Legend Cub Swanson

Cub Swanson and Andre Fili, UFC 303
Cub Swanson and Andre Fili, UFC 303 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Andre Fili and Cub Swanson fought to a close decision at UFC 303.

At age forty, “Killer” Cub Swanson is one of the last WEC veterans still active today and he is still going strong, having won four of his last six. With Fili coming off of a knockout loss, it bore watching how his chin held up against a legend like Swanson. But above all, fans expected a high-paced striking duel.

From the very beginning that’s what it was. Fili attacked with longer weapons like kicks while Cub looked to find his way in, to land with his unique boxing style. Both men had good moments and their striking flowed naturally, but neither separated themselves in the first round. The pace also slowed way down in the final minute.

Andre Fili changed things up when he came out in round two and shot a takedown. Though he landed it, Swanson was able to scramble up after only a few moments. On the feet, the pace was slow again as Fili mostly retreated in a circle. When Cub blitzed him, Andre grabbed him and pressed him against the fence. He was not able to get Swanson down again, and ‘Killer’ Cub landed several good right hands on the feet due to his foe’s poor defense. However, whenever he opened up, Fili paid him back in kind, seemingly with more effect. It was another close round, but the optics did not look good on Fili’s end.

Fili again got hit because of his poor defense early in round three. However when Cub opened up, he got taken down, got back up, and got trapped in the clinch for the second minute of the round. Upon breaking free he constantly walked Andre Fili down. Again he landed, but in the latter half of the round Andre fought back even harder, throwing more punches with badder intentions. Swanson pressured right up to the bell, even landing his best shot of the round and hurting Fili in the last five seconds.

With a tense crowd and fighters awaiting the decision, Bruce Buffer announced that Andre Fili got the nod on two of three scorecards over the legend Cub Swanson.

Official Result: Andre Fili def. Cub Swanson by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)