Alexandre Pantoja admits Steve Erceg was “so lucky” to get a title shot at UFC 301

By Harry Kettle - March 19, 2024

UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja has given his thoughts on his next opponent Steve Erceg.

Alexandre Pantoja, Steve Erceg

At UFC 301, Alexandre Pantoja will defend his UFC flyweight championship once again. He’ll do so against Steve Erceg, a name that many casual fans won’t be too familiar with.

RELATED: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg official for UFC 301 in Brazil

Erceg, 28, holds a 12-1 pro record in mixed martial arts and is 3-0 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The Australian star is coming off the back of a knockout win over Matt Schnell earlier this month, but the majority of fans know him for his submission prowess.

In a recent interview, Pantoja explained why he thinks Erceg is lucky to receive this opportunity.

Pantoja’s Erceg thoughts

“I didn’t expect it to be Steve Erceg, but it’s a good name, too,” Pantoja told MMA Junkie. “That’s funny because if you watch my interviews, all the time I was talking about in the flyweight division, you can take someone from No. 10 and fight with the champion or the No. 1 contender, and it’s going to be a good matchup. In this division, all the guys are so good.”

“I fought with all the division,” Pantoja said. “I fought with the No. 1 (Royval) two times, the No. 2 (Moreno) three times, No. 3 right now is Amir Albazi, who has an injury. I fought Kai Kara-France before, Manel Kape, Alex Perez, Matt Schnell, I fought everyone. I think that guy is so lucky because all these things happened.”

“He’s coming fresh for that fight because he didn’t fight the No. 8 or No. 6 or No. 4 like me,” Pantoja said. “I needed to fight with all these guys, and I had a lot of wars with Manel Kape, Brandon Moreno, Brandon Royval, that gives me a lot of emotion.

“I lost a couple of years of my life in those fights, and that guy Steve comes so fresh. He didn’t fight the guys at the top of the division. All the fighters in the flyweight division are very good. He has good boxing, good jiu-jitsu, it’s going to be very interesting for me.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

What is your prediction for this contest? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alexandre Pantoja UFC