Image source: Andre Fili Instagram (@touchyfili)
Faber founded the Team Alpha Male team that Fili is a part of, and he credits the team for being the reason he is not in jail. Therefore, Fili got the tattoo as a sign of appreciation, not just to Faber but to the whole Alpha Male team in general.
The artistry on the piece is incredible and was performed by Steve Butcher, a tattoo artist made famous for his incredible portrait pieces having tattooed Conor McGregor and LeBron James to the same level of detail on other customers.
Fili spoke to MMA Fighting and explained more about the reasoning behind the tattoo.
“It’s to pay homage to Faber but it’s also about the team in general. This group of dudes who raised me, I would probably be in jail right now if it wasn’t for Team Alpha Male. I was on house arrest when I got to Team Alpha Male. It’s not hard to draw a conclusion where I would be without this team.
I’d be in jail for sure. I have no question, I’d either be in jail or I’d be getting out of a jail working some deadbeat job. If you talk to Faber, he’ll tell the opposite. I’ve said that to Faber before, you basically saved my life.
He’s just like, ‘Fuck off you would have figured it out without me.’ It’s true. He won’t admit it, but that motherfucker saved my life. Him and the rest of the team.”
Fili went on to admit that some people might find the tattoo weird, but he doesn’t care as he has no problem telling friends that he loves them.
“Some people probably think it’s weird or they’ll hate on it but that don’t really mean shit to me. I’m the kind of guy who will tell you I love you. I’d rather tell you that I love you and have people look at me all fucking weird than not to have gotten the chance.
It’s just a tribute. It’s not just Faber. It’s everyone on the team. It’s everyone who’s put up with me for the past 10 years.”
Finally, Faber shared his thoughts on how he felt about the tattoo. Fili sent him a picture before uploading to Instagram to avoid catching Faber by surprise.
“I was definitely honoured. Definitely surprised. Honestly, I’ve spent a lot of time making fun of some of his tattoos, so it was tough to make fun of him for that one. That was a cool gesture and I know it means a lot to him being in an environment that he feels has changed his life.
As the founder of the team, and a guy who’s always trying to bring positivity to their lives and give them a structure and a real feel of being part of something bigger than the fight game, it’s definitely an honour.”