Alexander Volkanovski proposes a unique route for Steve Erceg to win the UFC flyweight title at UFC 301

By Curtis Calhoun - May 1, 2024

Former UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski detailed how Steve Erceg can drop jaws and secure the flyweight belt at UFC 301.

Alexander Volkanovski, Steve Erceg

Erceg will face UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja in the UFC 301 main event on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. The No. 10 flyweight got the title shot despite a small sample size inside the UFC Octagon, capped off by a recent knockout of Matt Schnell.

Erceg is a modest underdog against Pantoja entering this weekend’s festivities. As of this writing, he’s listed at +154 on FanDuel to pull off the upset over Pantoja and become a world champion.

Volkanovski, who isn’t a stranger to being counted out, feels Erceg should attack Pantoja’s strengths and use them to his advantage.

Alexander Volkanovski praises Steve Erceg’s grappling ahead of UFC 301

During a recent segment on Main Event, Volkanovski encouraged Erceg to utilize his underrated grappling against Pantoja.

“Everyone probably just thinks he’s a striker, because that’s all we’ve seen in the UFC. But we’ve seen him on the local scene, and his grappling is very good,” Volkanovski said of Erceg. “I think he’s going to be able to handle [Pantoja’s grappling]. Obviously, it’s very good, so I don’t see him winning every grappling exchange, but I think he’s going to deal with it and get him back to where he wants to be and start to work…

“I truly believe that he will get it done this weekend and I can’t wait for it.”

Erceg has earned six submission victories during his career, including the fight that put him on the UFC’s radar in 2023. He submitted Soichiro Hirai at Eternal MMA 73 before winning his UFC debut months later at UFC 289.

Since signing with the UFC, Erceg’s small fight sample size has clouded some of his ground game. He’s utilized his boxing primarily in recent victories over Alessandro Costa and Schnell.

If Erceg can stop Pantoja’s takedown attempts, he could win a firefight on the feet. While UFC 301 isn’t getting the buzz from the fans it deserves, Erceg will look to steal the show on Saturday night.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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