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Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg: betting odds and predictions for UFC 301

Publish Date: 05/04/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe
Key Points
  • Steve Erceg is 3-0 in his UFC career.
  • Alexandre Pantoja is 11-3 in his UFC career.
  • Alexandre Pantoja has 10 wins by submission.
  • Steve Erceg has 8 wins inside the distance
  • Steve Erceg is on a 7-fight winning streak.

The UFC heads back to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a stacked UFC 301 event. Headlining the fight card are two of the best men's flyweight fighters as the reigning and defending champion Alexandre Pantoja looks to defend his title once more when he takes on the surging Australian Steve Erceg. We take a look at this main event fight and give out our prediction and pick for this Pantoja-Erceg matchup.

Alexandre Pantoja (27-5) has taken the UFC's flyweight division by storm rattling off three straight victories with two finishes en route to his first title fight against the former champion Brandon Moreno whom he defeated via split decision. He however did one better in his first title defense dominating top challenger Brandon Royval winning a clear-cut unanimous decision.

Alexandre Pantoja is as tough as they come as we've seen him fight through adversity repeatedly throughout his UFC career. He fought through the damage against Moreno and could stick to him like glue, taking him down numerous times and controlling him for the vast majority of the fight to capture the coveted flyweight title. Then against Brandon Royval, he was undoubtedly gassed from putting on a high grappling pace but with his relentless takedown attempts and ability to push through he was able to control Royval and retain his title.

Now, Pantoja gets a different challenge in front of him in Steve Erceg who's a bit more of a wildcard because he only has three fights inside the Octagon and hasn't really shown all of his skillset in his short amount of time. Pantoja will need to just stick to his game plan and that is to get his grappling going early and often. If he can do that and not gas out in the process he has a great chance at retaining his title once more.

Steve Erceg (12-1) is riding a 7-fight winning streak coming into this matchup with the aforementioned champion Alexandre Pantoja. He burst onto the scene as a late replacement defeating ranked competitor David Dvorak which was an eye-opening performance from him. Since then he won his next two fights inside the Octagon with his last win being a brutal second-round knockout against Matt Schnell. Since the flyweight division is wide open and other fighters were already either booked with fights, were injured, or already lost to Pantoja which allowed Erceg to step into the biggest fight of his life.

Steve Erceg is as well-rounded as they come with wins by knockout and submission in his professional career. However, his best chance is to keep this fight on the feet where he can utilize his wide array of strikes especially his kicks to keep Pantoja from just marching forward looking to get in the clinch. If Erceg can keep himself out of the grasp of Pantoja and utilize his footwork to stay on the outside he can certainly do the unthinkable and score the upset and claim the flyweight title in the biggest fight of his life this weekend at UFC 301.

UFC 301: ALEXANDRE PANTOJA VS. STEVE ERCEG FANDUEL ODDS FOR MAY 4

MONEY LINE

  • ALEXANDRE PANTOJA: -188
  • STEVE ERCEG: +158

PROPS

  • ALEXANDRE PANTOJA BY POINTS: +230
  • ALEXANDRE PANTOJA BY SUBMISSION: +300
  • ALEXANDRE PANTOJA BY KNOCKOUT/TKO: +500
  • STEVE ERCEG BY POINTS: +460
  • STEVE ERCEG BY KNOCKOUT/TKO: +420
  • STEVE ERCEG BY SUBMISSION: +1300

OVER/UNDER (ROUNDS TOTAL)

  • OVER 3.5 ROUNDS (-146)
  • UNDER 3.5 ROUNDS (+114)

BEST UFC 301 ODDS FOR ALEXANDRE PANTOJA VS. STEVE ERCEG

  • Alexandre Pantoja is the favorite against Steve Erceg. FanDuel currently has the best odds at (-188)
  • Steve Erceg is the underdog. FanDuel currently has the best odds at (+158)
  • FanDuel currently has the best odds for the total, which is set at 3.5 Rounds (-146) for the over, and (+114) for the under
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FINAL PANTOJA-ERCEG PICK & PREDICTION

This is your classic striker vs. grappler matchup. Alexandre Pantoja will need to get this fight to the mat early and often meanwhile, Erceg will need to keep this fight on his feet if he wants to become the first Australian flyweight champion.

While Erceg certainly provides a unique skill set that will give Pantoja some problems it will be Pantoja's relentless grappling that will be his downfall. In the end, Erceg will look good early on until Pantoja takes this fight to the mat eventually submitting Erceg midway through the fight to retain his flyweight championship.

FINAL PANTOJA-ERCEG PICK & PREDICTION: ALEXANDER PANTOJA (-188)

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