Alexandre Pantoja to Make Second Title Defense Against Steve Erceg at UFC 301

Alexandre Pantoja is going on the defensive again…

The 33-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and UFC flyweight champion will make his second title defense against Steve Erceg at UFC 301 on May 4 in Rio de Janeiro.

Alexandre PantojaUFC did not specify whether the 125-pound bout will headline the pay-per-view event.

UFC 301 will take place inside Farmasi Arena in the promotion’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. He was born in Rio de Janeiro but has not fought in Brazil in his 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 signed with UFC midway through last year. He is 3-0 in UFC, with two wins by decision and one finish — a 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.