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

By Josh Evanoff - March 15, 2024

UFC flyweight Alexandre Pantoja will defend the gold at home against the rising Steve Erceg in May.

Alexandre Pantoja, Steve Erceg

‘The Cannibal’ is in a bit of a weird spot. As Alexandre Pantoja has pointed out on several occasions, he’s already defeated most top contenders at 125 pounds. As of now, the flyweight champion has scored victories over Brandon Moreno three times, Brandon Royval twice, and wins over the likes of Manel Kape and Alex Perez.

With that in mind, the Brazilian wanted some fresh blood. Last month, the UFC held an event in Mexico City, that was supposed to set the champion’s next contender. However, after Brandon Royval defeated Brandon Moreno by split decision, the promotion decided to throw a curveball at fans. Instead of ‘Raw Dawg’ facing Alexandre Pantoja again, it will be Steve Erceg.

The fight announcement was made by the promotion on social media earlier today. The two will fight at UFC 301 on May 4th, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For Steve Erceg, the title shot has come much sooner than many anticipated. However, given Alexandre Pantoja’s dominance over the flyweight division, matchmakers decided to put some fresh blood in the title scene.

‘AstroBoy’ is still less than a year into his UFC journey. Last June, Steve Erceg debuted with a unanimous decision victory over David Dvorak. The flyweight prospect later followed up that win with victories over Alessandro Costa, and Matt Schnell. That latter victory just came earlier this month on the undercard of Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Shamil Gaziev.


Alexandre Pantoja

Image via: @pantoja_oficial on Instagram.

UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja to face Steve Erceg at Brazil in May

Meanwhile, Alexandre Pantoja is fresh off a victory over the aforementioned Brandon Royval in December at UFC 296. That win was the fifth in a row for the Brazilian, previously defeating the likes of Brandon Moreno and Manel Kape. Now, the Brazilian will get the chance to return to home soil to defend his world title.

While UFC 301 isn’t complete, the card is lining up nicely. As of now, there is no main event for the card, and it’s unlikely that Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg would get the headlining role. Alex Pereria was originally targeted to headline this event opposite Jamahal Hill, but that fight was pushed up to UFC 300.

With the announcement of Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg, the UFC 301 card goes as follows:

  • Men’s Flyweight title fight: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg
  • Light-Heavyweight: Anthony Smith vs. Vitor Petrino
  • Lightweight: Joaquim Silva vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Light-Heavyweight: Paul Craig vs. Caio Borralho
  • Men’s Bantamweight: Jack Shore vs. Joanderson Brito
  • Lightweight: Elvis Brener vs. Myktybek Orolbai
  • Men’s Flyweight: Alessandro Costa vs. Kevin Borjas

What do you make of this fight announcement? Who do you got in this UFC flyweight title clash? Alexandre Pantoja or Steve Erceg?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alexandre Pantoja UFC