Pantoja title defense vs. Erceg May 4 at UFC 301

UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja will make his second title defense against Steve Erceg at UFC 301 on May 4 in Rio de Janeiro, the promotion announced on Friday.

The UFC did not specify whether the 125-pound bout will headline the pay-per-view event. UFC 301 will take place inside Farmasi Arena. It’s the UFC’s first trip to Rio de Janeiro since January 2023.

Pantoja (27-5) was expected to appear on the card from the moment it was announced. The 33-year-old champion was born in Rio de Janeiro, but has not fought in Brazil in his entire 14-fight UFC career. He trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. ranks Pantoja the No. 7 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Erceg (12-1) has seemingly emerged out of nowhere to claim the No. 1 contender spot. Fighting out of Perth, Australia, Erceg only signed with the UFC midway through last year. He is 3-0 in the UFC thus far, with two wins by decision and one finish. The finish came via TKO against Matt Schnell earlier this month at a UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas.

Erceg, 28, has eight career finishes in 12 wins, including six by submission.

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