With a lengthy UFC tenure and more than 30 professional fights to his name, Andre Fili could quite legitimately be called a veteran. But, despite his vast experience, the UFC featherweight says there’s still plenty more gas in the tank.

Fili is fast approaching a major career milestone, with the Team Alpha Male athlete heading towards 10 years in the UFC. It’s a remarkable achievement for the 33-year-old, who tried to put his finger on what has kept him on the sport’s biggest stage for so long.

“It’s a good question,” he told Fighters Only during media day ahead of his bout with Nathaniel Wood at UFC London.

“People have asked me about that 10-year mark. I think September is 10 years (and) people have asked me about that 10-year mark a lot this weekend. And it’s a weird thing. It doesn’t feel like 10 years. You just wake up one day and you’ve been doing it for 10 years.”

Fili made his UFC debut back in October 2013 at UFC 166, where he stopped Jeremy Larsen in the second round to get his career on the big stage off to a winning start. Since then, Fili has shared the cage with the likes of Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Artem Lobov, Calvin Kattar, Dennis Bermudez and many more. Overall, his UFC record reads 10 wins, eight losses, one no-contest. His willingness to step in and throw hands with anyone at 145 pounds has made him a constant presence on the UFC roster, though Fili himself the secret to his longevity is simple – being happy.

“I think the secret is just really doing what you love, being passionate about what you love, staying young at heart,” he said.

“I’m also a student. I’m always learning. I learn from guys who are younger than me, I learn from guys who are older than me, I learn from guys who are retired, I learn from guys who aren’t even in the UFC yet. I learn from everyone.

“I’m a student, and I don’t think of myself like this 10-year veteran. In my head when I think of myself, I’m not a 33-year-old guy who’s done this forever and has all the answers and has been through everything twice. I’m still 23, I’m still new, I still have a lot to prove, I’m still excited and young. And this is my mentality. I don’t feel 33, I don’t feel like a tenured veteran. I don’t feel like a guy who’s done everything. I feel like a young, hungry kid. I just love this s**t.”

And, despite being 32 fights into his 14-year career, Fili thinks the best could still be to come, as he spoke of how some of the other veterans of the Octagon inspire him to continue to chase success on the big stage.

“I think, when you do what you love, you could do it forever,” he said.

” You know, and I’ve said this a few times this weekend, Jim Miller looks the best he’s ever looked. Dustin Poirier looks the best he’s ever looked. Glover Teixeira just won a belt at 42. You guys might be stuck with me for another 10 years, dude.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’ve been in the UFC 10 years, but I’m only 33. You guys are stuck with me! And I love this sport. I ain’t going anywhere, so I think that’s part of it. Part of the longevity is just that I really love this s**t, and there’s nothing else I would rather do.”