UFC 301: Steve Erceg Sees ‘Holes’ In Alexandre Pantoja

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Steve Erceg knows what he’s gotta do to become a UFC Champion.

Nobody could have expected that just nine months after his promotional debut, that Erceg would be shot straight to the top. That’s exactly what happened as the #10 ranked contender will be taking on UFC Flyweight king Alexandre Pantoja in what looks to be the headliner of UFC 301 on May 4.

It’s a quick, yet welcome turnaround for the Western Australian who just knocked out Matt Schnell two weeks ago at UFC Vegas 87. Erceg’s title shot came as a surprise to many but the division has been somewhat shallow with the reigning Pantoja clearing out contenders left and right, leaving the door wide open for Erceg to swoop in.

Pantoja has looked simply incredible throughout his title run and has not lost a fight in nearly four years. That being said, Erceg believes he’s more than capable of pulling off the ultimate upset in front of Pantoja’s home crowd in Brazil.

“I think he’s pretty scrappy and has a lot of holes,” Erceg told Fox Sports Australia’s Niko Pajarillo. “So, I think I can rock him with shots and put him away.”

‘The Cannibal’ has eaten a lot of strikes as anybody would throughout a 32-fight career, but none have able to stop him Pantoja in his tracks. Though, there’s a first time for everything and after a bonus-winning KO in his last fight, Erceg’s sure to bring the heat in their flyweight title fight.

“I think his striking is overly aggressive,” Erceg said of Pantoja. “Like obviously he’s very fit, has a great heart, got good jiu-jitsu, but he’s just very reckless and I think that gets you into trouble at the highest level.”

Steve Erceg stands with a near-perfect record of 12-1, with his last loss coming in 2017. It’s been onwards and upwards since then and ‘Astroboy’ looks to take off higher than ever with the UFC Flyweight belt wrapped around his waist.

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Christopher De Santiago is a journalist out of Texas with years of experience covering MMA. Follow him on X: @chris_dsantiago

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