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Alexandre Pantoja Outlasts Steve Erceg in Epic UFC 301 Showdown

Alexandre Pantoja Outlasts Steve Erceg
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg at UFC 301

In a five-round war of attrition, Alexandre Pantoja showcased his championship mettle as he fended off a valiant challenge from Steve Erceg in the UFC 301 main event, ultimately retaining his title in a thrilling display of skill and determination.

The fight, which captivated fans at the T-Mobile Arena in Rio de Janeiro, saw both fighters exchange blows and grappling exchanges, with each seizing moments of dominance throughout the contest. Pantoja's ability to control Erceg on the ground proved pivotal as he secured a unanimous decision victory, with the judges scoring the bout 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46 in favor of the champion.

Reflecting on his hard-fought win, Pantoja acknowledged the tough test Erceg posed, stating, 

"I'm in here to fight the best in the world, and this guy's one of them. What a tough opponent to have in here. I think I need to move my head; these guys are hitting me too much. What an incredible guy, an incredible opponent."

From the opening bell, Pantoja displayed his trademark aggression, seeking to overwhelm Erceg with a relentless offensive onslaught. However, Erceg, displaying patience and tactical awareness, countered effectively and kept Pantoja honest with his striking prowess.

The fight saw a dynamic exchange of striking and grappling exchanges, with Pantoja showcasing his grappling dominance with well-timed takedowns and control on the ground. Erceg, displaying resilience and skill, capitalized on opportunities to land significant strikes and maintain distance to avoid Pantoja's grappling game.

As the fight progressed into the championship rounds, both fighters showed their determination and resolve. Erceg, buoyed by his striking accuracy and defensive skills, continued to pose a threat, while Pantoja utilized his experience and composure to weather the storm and impose his game plan.

In the final moments of the fight, Pantoja's ability to secure takedowns and control the ground proved decisive, as he closed the fight with ground and pound to solidify his victory and thwart Erceg's upset bid.

Despite the loss, Erceg showcased his potential and determination, hinting at a bright future in the flyweight division. With his impressive performance, Erceg is poised to earn another shot at the title in the near future.

For Pantoja, the victory reaffirms his status as the top flyweight in the UFC, as he continues to dispatch challengers and maintain his reign atop the 125-pound division.


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