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Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg: Picks, Predictions and Odds

A card stacked with Brazilian talent heads to Rio de Janeiro this weekend as Alexandre Pantoja makes the second defense of his Flyweight title against Steve Erceg at UFC 301.

“The King of Rio” Jose Aldo returns in the co-main event against highly-rated American Jonathan Martinez.

Expect fireworks on the rest of the main card which features the likes of Vitor Petrino, Michel Pereira and Ciao Borralho, but now, we'll get into our picks and predictions for Pantoja vs. Erceg.

UFC 301: Pantoja vs. Erceg betting picks and predictions

Total Rounds over 3.5 (-140)

Alexandre Pantoja gets the chance to make a homecoming defense of his Flyweight title this weekend in rare circumstances.

With no clear cut contender in the top five of the division, mainly due to Pantoja’s previous record against the rest, number nine ranked Steve Erceg gets the shot just three fights into his UFC career.

After two solid wins against David Dvořák and Alessandro Costa, the 28-year-old Australian’s spectacular one punch KO of Matt Schnell in March piqued the interest of UFC brass.

Erceg brings a well rounded game to the Octagon. His rangy boxing mixed with his solid wrestling makes him a tougher test for the champion than his ranking and top level experience probably suggests.

Pantoja to win by Submission or Decision (-120)

As he prepares to make his fifteenth UFC walk, Pantoja will be determined not to let this opportunity pass him by.

The 34-year-old’s all action style saw him win the title in a split decision against Brandon Moreno last July before backing it up with a unanimous decision win in a rematch with Brandon Royval in December.

Pantoja’s run to the belt included his first win over Royval, as well as victories over Manuel Kape and Alex Perez.

It’s also worth noting he face-plant KO’d Matt Schnell in the first round of their contest in 2019. That was the second KO of his UFC career, which also boasts four submissions, all by rear-naked choke.

Pantoja’s pace is unrelenting and in front of a bloodthirsty home crowd even some of his less effective work may catch the eye of the judges. There is no doubt Pantoja will want the finish but Erceg’s toughness could tip this in favor of a third consecutive win on the scorecards for the Brazilian champion. 

UFC 301: Pantoja vs. Erceg odds

Alexandre Pantoja

-188 ML

Steve Erceg

+162 ML

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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