Alexandre Pantoja opens as big betting favorite to beat Steve Erceg in UFC 301 title fight in Brazil

Alexandre Pantoja opens as big betting favorite to beat Steve Erceg at UFC 301

Set to make his homecoming in May at UFC 301, undisputed flyweight champion, Alexandre Pantoja has opened as an impressive betting favorite to defeat surging division contender, Steve Erceg in the pair’s title offing in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

Pantoja, the current undisputed flyweight champion, has been sidelined since last December, landing an impressive decision win over recent UFC Mexico City headliner, Brandon Royval in the duo’s championship rematch.

Pantoja title UFC 290

As for Erceg, the three-fight promotional veteran cracked the flyweight top ten at the beginning of the month, landing a blistering knockout win over Matt Schnell – which earned him a Performance of the Night bonus, and subsequently, he is first title siege.

Alexandre Pantoja opens as favorite to beat Steve Erceg

And with betting lines officially on offer for UFC 301, Alexandre Pantoja is currently riding an impressive -258 betting favorite line over the +210 betting underdog, Steve Erceg ahead of their title showdown at the Jeunesse Arena. 

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A host of betting sites and markets are already offering odds on Pantoja’s title fight return to his native Brazil against Erceg, and punters can also play their favorite slot games and other betting games – which includes the chance to play a Big Bamboo Demo game whilst punting on May’s return to South America for the UFC. 

Striking championship spoils back in July of last year during International Fight Week, Pantoja, the current number ten ranked pound-for-pound ranked fighter under the banner of the promotion – did so with a third career win over former two-time champion, Brandon Moreno.

Extending his impressive winning spree to five straight fights with his title defense win over Royval back in December, Pantoja turned in prior submission wins over Alex Perez, and Royval before that – to go with a decision success against the highly-touted Angolan-born contender, Manel Kape. 

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Alexandre Pantoja set to fight Steve Erceg in title clash at UFC 301 in Brazil on May 4
Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA TODAY Sports

Improving to 12-1 as a professional with his knockout win over Schnell, Western Australia prospect, Erceg had landed a pair of victories against both David Dvorak and Alessandro Costa in his first two outings under the banner of the UFC – making his debut just last summer in June. 

Fighting for gold in May, Erceg’s involvement at UFC 301 will come as a swift title charge for the Perth-born contender, who will be just eleven months deep into his tenure with the promotion by the time he faces Pantoja later this year in Brazil. 

Along with Pantoja’s championship fight against Erceg at UFC 301, over the weekend, reports confirmed that former undisputed featherweight champion and Hall of Fame inductee, Jose Aldo would be snapping his almost two-year retirement from the sport in a bantamweight fight against Jonathan Martinez.

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Jose Aldo snaps retirement set to fight at UFC 301 against Jonathan Martinez in Brazil
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

Aldo, a fan-favorite striker and the promotion’s inaugural featherweight titleholder, has been sidelined since he dropped a one-sided unanimous decision loss to surging number one ranked bantamweight contender, Merab Dvalishvili – snapping a three-fight winning spree against Rob Font, Pedro Munhoz, and a decision win over most recent title challenger, Marlon Vera – who challenged for gold just earlier this month at UFC 299 against the incumbent, Sean O’Malley. 

Who wins at UFC 301 in May: Alexandre Pantoja or Steve Erceg?