UFC 301: Alexandre Pantoja and Steve Erceg’s first face-off

Alexandre Pantoja and Steve Erceg’s faced off at the Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio.

by Aryan Lakhani
UFC 301: Alexandre Pantoja and Steve Erceg’s first face-off
© @UFCEurope/Twitter

One of the most unexpected UFC title fights is right around the corner. Alexandre Pantoja will be defending his hard-earnt UFC flyweight belt against Steve Erceg this Saturday night. Both fighters recently faced off in front of the Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio.

People were amused to hear about this announcement because MMA fans were under the impression of seeing Mohammad Mokaev securing a title shot opportunity.

Steve Erceg on unexpectedly getting a title shot

During the recent media day, Steve Erceg shared his thoughts on fighting Alexandre Pantoja.

“I definitely expect the same,” Erceg said, as quoted by mmafighting.com. “To go out there and get a finish would be amazing and then yeah, I expect bottles to be thrown at me as I leave the arena, but I think that’s part of the authentic Brazilian experience.

I know that I wasn’t on the top of everybody’s mind when it came to a title shot, but the way the division was, Pantoja had already beaten all of the challengers. People are injured. The only other guy that really was in line for the shot was [Muhammad] Mokaev and I was on the same card as him, I had a more exciting fight than he did and the UFC decided to give me the shot.

I’m here to be the best guy in the world, so whether I’m an underdog, whether I’m the favorite, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m going to go in there and I’m going to fight another dude in the cage and whoever’s best is going to come out on top”.