Showcasing his striking and grappling over three rounds, Fili nearly pulled off a late submission to prevent the judges from even getting involved but Algeo toughed it out until the final horn. When the scorecards came back, Fili earned a pair of 29-28 rounds with Algeo getting a 29-28 score of his own.
Still that was enough for Fili to get the nod as he competed after a tragedy struck his family during his training camp while preparing for this matchuip.
“I went through so much this camp,” Fili revealed. “Anyone you see in this cage is just 1 percent of their story. I lost so much.
“I lost a baby, it would have been my first kid. I just want to dedicate this fight to whoever they would have been. I love you so much.”
Fili was looking to take the center of the octagon while setting up his strikes with Algeo content to use his counters against the Team Alpha Male fighter. The featherweights were also trading some heavy kicks with Fili going up top to the head and Algeo digging his to the body.
Midway through the opening round, Algeo had a nasty cut opened near his hairline thanks to one of those kicks delivered by Fili. With blood trickling down his face, Algeo was forced to wipe his eyes as he looked to reset and change the momentum in the fight.
The jab started to become an effective weapon for Algeo once he started acting as the aggressor rather than fighting off his back foot but Fili was still returning fire effectively as well. The difference appeared to be the impact that Fili was landing with his strikes as he continued headhunting Algeo, who was struggling to avoid many of the biggest punches coming at him.
Fili decided to keep Algeo guessing after securing a takedown that immediately led to submission attempts — first with an arm triangle and then transitioning into a rear-naked choke. There were a few moments where it looked like Algeo was done but he refused to give up while still pulling at Fili’s hands to prevent him from securing the finish.
Still, Fili’s dominance with his grappling in the third round helped him cement the victory as he got back in the win column for the first time since 2020 after an 0-2 mark with one no contest in his previous three fights.