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Alexandre Pantoja's Harrowing Battle for UFC Flyweight Supremacy



Alexandre Pantoja's recent defense of the UFC flyweight championship against Brandon Royval at UFC 296 was a testament to his resilience, but behind the unanimous decision victory, lay a gripping tale of a near blackout that could have altered the fight's outcome.


Amidst the championship rounds, Pantoja's energy seemed to dwindle, yet he persisted, aiming to secure victory. However, his attempt at a rear-naked choke in the fourth round became a moment of peril. In an interview on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast, Pantoja revealed the precariousness of the situation: 


"I almost blacked out trying to put him out."


His coach, Marcos 'Parrumpinha,' strategically instilled urgency, emphasizing the need to dominate the upcoming rounds, amplifying Pantoja's determination. However, as he pushed himself beyond limits, aiming for victory, a sudden wave of illness swept over him.


Pantoja vividly described the unnerving experience: "I started to feel ill...I was aware that I was going out, man." Battling dizziness while maintaining control over Royval, Pantoja found himself in uncharted territory, a surreal moment where his senses faltered, yet his fighting instinct remained intact.


The Brazilian fighter persevered, attempting a neck crank and pushing through despite the surreal sensation. Even as Royval valiantly resisted, Pantoja's strength waned, leading to a pivotal position reversal.


Bravely enduring the precarious situation, Pantoja confessed to his corner about feeling dizzy, a moment that went unseen by viewers. Amidst the intensity, his striking coach, Luciano "Macarrão," added a humorous touch, inadvertently urging Pantoja to stand up despite his compromised state.


Despite the daunting experience, Pantoja displayed champion-like grit, finishing the fight and emerging victorious. Looking ahead, he aims to defend his title on home soil in Brazil, eyeing a potential bout against the winner of Brandon Moreno vs. Amir Albazi.



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