Saturday, November 21st, 2015 in Monterrey, Mexico for UFC Fight Night 78 “Magny vs. Gastelum” by Daniel Tom


Gabriel Benitez (18-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 27 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 71″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Clay Collard (6-13-15)
  • Camp: Team Entram (Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA Titles
+ 9 Submission wins
+ 9 first round finishes
+ 6 KO victories
+ Training at AKA (CA)
+ Hard Left body & leg kicks
+ Good knees from clinch
+ Accurate straight left
+ Competent TD defense
+ Dangerous Guillotine choke
^ Will gamble position for it
+ consistent pace & pressure
– Gives position off aggression
– right hand tends to lower


Andre Fili (14-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 25 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: Submission loss / Gogofredo Castro (3-21-15)
  • Camp: Team Alpha Male (Sacramento,CA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA Titles
+ Piano Key Belt in Joe-Jitsu
+ 7 KO victories
+ 3 Submission wins
+ 5 first round finishes
+ Underrated counter wrestling
+ Favors double-legs
^ Times well in the open
+ Active & attacking guard
^ Excellent sweeping abilities
– Hands slightly low & head upright
+ Improved head & overall movement
+ Aggressive pressure & pace
+ Angles well of attacks
+ Long & accurate left hook

In the midst of the preliminary action is a potential “Fight of the Night” candidate, as Featherweights Gabriel Benitez and Andre Fili are set to square off. Fill draws a road game here as he’ll look to get his first consecutive win in the UFC against an underrated regional player. As one of Mexico’s more promising prospects, Gabriel Benitez has moved shop to AKA in San Jose since his stint on TUF LATAM. In attempts to maximize his potential he’s made clear efforts in sharpening his submission game and overall counter wrestling to support his striking based style. With both men being aggressive strikers, Gabriel’s more technical straight-forward application of it will serve him best standing.

With Fili’s propensity to lower his hands and keep his head upright, ┬áBenitez’s accurate left hand could to play a factor in swaying momentum his way. In fact his overall straight punch pressure with hard left kick follow-ups could play well to Andre’s more wide and looping attacks. That said, Fili shows ever improving footwork and movement as his defenses heavily rely upon it. Displaying improved boxing and a solid kicking variety, it’s Andre’s ability to angle off attacks that make him effective. This technique will be crucial to this fight as it gets him off-line from his opponent, and on-line for more of his own offense. Benitez also shows defensive liabilities of his own as his right hand tends to lower during & exiting exchanges.

Gabriel will have to mind this opening, as Fili’s most accurate & effective punch is his left hook. Using the aforementioned angling, Andre will usually attach a right cross to follow up his hook nicely. For my money, the factor that edges these men apart is there ground game. Benitiez has showed a very competent submission game coupled with improving take-down defense(especially against the cage). It’s in the open where Gabriel has struggled to defend take-downs as his aggressive nature tends to expose him in this space. Luckily for Andre Fili, his most impressive take-down is his well timed double-leg in the open(something he scores consistently with). With underrated counter wrestling of his own, Andre’s ability to change scenery & offensive gears will be huge in this fight.

Though I don’t feel his recent submission losses are condemnations of his skills or defenses, Fili will have to mind Benitez’s ever evolving Guillotine choke as he enters for his take-downs. I’m sure he’s seen many in the practice rooms of Team Alpha Male, but we’ve also seen that turn into a false sense of security in his recent fights as he’s been threatened consistently. Gabriel Benitez shows solid durability & recoverability that makes him a very live dog in this fight, but I feel Fili’s wider range of skill-sets will keep him ahead as the favorite here. With both men’s current stage of their career, expect the fight-to-fight improvements be the intangible factor at play here. I wouldn’t bank on a finish with either of these chins as I expect maturity to be the deciding factor here.

Official Pick: Fili- Decision

Official Outcome: to be determined

TUF Finale Predictions

  • Enrique Marin def. Erick Montano
  • Horacio Gutierrez def. Enrique Barzola

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Taylor Lapilus def. Erik Perez
  • Bartosz Fabinski def. Hector Urbina
  • Scott Jorgensen def. Alejandro Perez
  • Andre Fili def. Gabriel Benitez
  • Valmir Lazaro def. Michel Prazeres
  • Vernon Ramos def. Alvaro Herrera
  • Cesar Arzamendia def. Polo Reyes

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Kelvin Gastelum
-Andre Fili

Low Tier Picks:

-Taylor Lapilus
-Diego Sanchez

Pieces for your parlay:

-Kelvin Gastelum
-Andre Fili
-Bartosz Fabinski

Props worth looking at:

-Gastelum – Inside the distance

Fights to avoid:

-Escudero vs. Silva

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