Federica Di Filippo – “I definitely like violence”

As the 2023 MMA calendar year kicks into gear, the UK is absolutely packed with exceptional cards and hungry warriors looking to unleash their respective skill-sets and progress on their journeys.


On May 14th in Rochester, Bloodline Fight Series will host many of these warriors and give the fans in attendance at the Casino Rooms a night of pure unadulterated organised violence they will not soon forget.


Amongst these band of warriors will be Team Underground MMA’s Federica Di Filippo, taking on GB MMA’s Alice Blackman in an explosive Strawweight barn burner.


I took a trip down to Team Underground MMA recently, to catch up with one half of this war, Federica ‘Barry’ Di Filippo. As she prepares to take the walk to the cage one again this year.


Federica ‘Barry’ Di Filippo is an Italian amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Straweight division, representing Team Underground MMA. Federica has competed for Rise and Conquer, Cage Warriors Academy South-East, FederKombat and makes her debut for Bloodline Fight Series on May 14th.


I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for inviting me here to speak with you today, Federica, and also congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the BFS card on May 14th.


“Thank you, and thank you for coming down. I’m really happy and looking forward to fighting on the 14th, and hopefully many more hahaha, I think I’m quite ready for it.”


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I can see training has been going exceptionally well in the build-up to your highly anticipated return to the cage.


“I have been preparing in a different way than I usually do for my fights, I’ve come across different difficulties during this fight camp. One of them being I’m also representing my country in the Italian IMMAF’s, I was underweight and I lost. But sometimes you lose, sometimes you win.”


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Exactly, each opportunity, even a loss, can be an experience to learn from.


Speaking of your inclusion in Italy, you’ve wasted no time setting your sights on more violent festivities just a month later.


Is an active year ahead for you, and have you set yourself any personal objectives for the MMA calendar year?


“To be fair, I’m always quite active. Since my MMA debut back in October I’ve always been quite active, I stopped only because of an injury that I had to have surgery for. As soon as I could, I came back in preparation for a fight, I took a fight on short notice. then after a month and a half I had a 2nd fight with a Jiu-jitsu competition in-between, one in Brighton, I’ve also had boxing and K1 fights. Yeah,  Let’s say I like to keep active. The more time you spend training even though you’re not in camp, the better the longevity of your career will be. I think mainly if you don’t procrastinate after your fight, of course if an injury you’d have to stop. And if you’ve been in camp for a while it’s better to take precautions, and take a week or 2 break to recover. I think it’s better to stay active and always train, even if you reduce the intensity but always keep moving, you know what they say, healthy mind, healthy body. I like to say I can’t stop, I don’t want to stop hahaha.”


You’re certainly a busy lady, you make me feel like I’m lazy, hahaha.




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Have you set yourself any personal goals for this year?


“Ah yes. So by the end of the year, I’d want to have competed on  the European stage of MMA. There’s one in Italy in September, so to do so I’d have to win my upcoming fight on the 3rd of June in Italy. Of course I want to win my next fight, and hopefully 2 or 3 more fights. I like to say that I like to live the day and take each day as it comes. So whatever comes, or whatever life has for me and what Steve thinks is best for me as well as whatever opportunities come knocking at my door, I’ll try and be ready and take it. But what I know for sure is I’m planning to be active. I’m also going to Germany 6 days after my fight at BFS to compete in the ADCC open, it will be my 1st step with the organisation so hopefully I win, hahahaha.”


I’m sure you’ll do amazingly.


“Hopefully, hahaha.”


As you previously stated, kick-starting your amateur journey back at the tail end of 2022, and stepping into the cage a total of 3 times, displaying your willingness to succeed in the fight game.


The highs and lows of the sport all carry with them many lessons. What have you learned from these previous outings?


“1st of all, even if you have a flat period where you see no progress, you need to keep going. That’s definitely something that could happen and there’s always a different approach. I’ve definitely learned not to stick to one thing and only learn one style, you need to look at all areas of combat. I come from a striking background so I like to keep it standing, but always remember this is Mixed Martial Arts and you need to try and integrate a lot more into your game. So I’ve definitely learned I need to mix it up and focus on everything, and try to divide all the aspects. I understand that I have to be always ready to learn and listen to everybody because everyone can teach you something, and it’s always good to pass on what you’ve learned. Because if I get better, they get better, if they get better then I can step up and get better myself. Let’s just say, I learned to share even more than I would before, hahaha.


That’s a very admirable mindset to have, definitely.


“Thank you.”


You’re very welcome.


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As we approach fight night, there will be many in attendance and watching at home that’s not had the opportunity to catch you in action. Each and every athlete in the fight game has a story to tell on how they entered combat sports. To give the fans a bit of insight leading up to May 14th, what first attracted you to the brutal yet exhilarating world of mixed martial arts?


“Well I definitely like violence, hahahaha. The legal way of violence of course, hahahaha. What attracted me to the sport was the discipline behind it. I like to set myself discipline in life, to have respect for others in my approach in anything I do. Discipline can be integrated in food, nutrition, in any kind of work based environment and all kinds of situations, so the discipline was definitely what attracted me the most to the sport. Also the idea of reaching my 50’s with a nice body hahahaha. I really like the adrenaline of it also. As I said, I like to keep active and try new things, but it has kept me the most engaged out of everything I do.”


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“I honestly don’t know what I would do if I woke up in the morning and I wasn’t able to train, I’d be like what can I do with my life, hahahaha. After my last fight in the UK at Cage Warriors Academy, I took a 3 week break because I fractured my wrist as well as having tendonitis. So to avoid having more surgery, I had to take a 3 week break and I was literally going mad. I was keeping active at work and little trips to the gym but it wasn’t the same. Because as I said, the happiness and adrenaline I get from training with other people is world’s apart from anything else I do.”


I can completely get where you are coming from.


“I remember when I had my surgery and in the process of my recovery, I was going to all my friends fights and I was constantly crying. It was tears of happiness for them, but at the same time I was so melancholic, I was like oh my god I want to get back in  there, I want to fight.”


I’ve noticed you’re a very big supporter of your close friends when they take the walk, I saw you were at Shanelle Dyer’s fight at FCC.


“Yeah, I was there hahahaha. If you watch the clip of Shanelle’s TKO, you can hear my voice in the background hahahahaha, I think everyone heard it. I’m quite loud, I follow her everywhere hahahaha.”


It’s always amazing to be able to make the trip to support your friends, definitely.


Looking forward, we are now just 2 weeks away from what’s set to be another sold out night of pure unadulterated organised violence at the Casino Rooms in Rochester. You are set to face off against GB MMA’s Alice Blackman and with a similar record in the cage, this makes for an interesting fight.


What do you make of Alice as you prepare to collide in Kent?



“I know she comes from a very good gym, and I’ve seen her fights. She lost her 2nd fight against my 1st ever Jiu-jitsu opponent Suzanne Wilson. I can’t really say much, she submitted me also, I felt her pain hahahaha. She has a good stand up game, I’ve heard she has good back control so I’ll definitely be watching out for any takedowns and submission attempts, hahahahaha. Honestly, I don’t have a precise gameplan, I like to see how the situation goes so I like to be ready for anything. I also don’t like to focus too much on my opponent, we’re both gonna find out what each other is best at on the day of the fight. I have lots of respect for her because we are going to share the cage together, so everything is meant in a nice way, hahahahaha.”


It’s definitely a well matched fight, I’m.hoping to make it to the event so it will be great to catch you out there live.


It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today Federica, I wish you all the best for the remainder of your preparations and I look forward to witnessing you out there once again mate.


“Thank you so much. Hopefully I win and I don’t let anybody down.”


In the background, Steve Cooke responded to Federica’s reply with. “You never let anyone down.”


Last but not least, have you got anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?


“Of course, shout-out to my team and my Coach Steve. To all my mates and my other gym also. Shout-out to Kate Bacik who you also know, and Nadine also who has been helping me a lot and my friend from Italy David hahahaha.”


Catch Federica, and many more phenomenal athletes take centre stage on May 14th at the Casino Rooms in Rochester for the absolutely stacked Bloodline Fight Series card. Tickets are now available from the fighters and the Bloodline Fight Series team.


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