Alexandre Pantoja explained the fight with Steve Erceg

Reigning UFC bantamweight champion, Alexandre Pantoja, explained why he agreed to come out for a title defense against Australia’s Steve Erceg, ranked tenth in the division’s rankings.

“It’s funny, but that’s about what I asked for,” the 33-year-old Brazilian fighter said in an interview with UFC Brazil. “I was joking that I needed an unknown opponent and they gave me this guy. I believe he’s more dangerous than Royval and Moreno at the moment because this guy came out of nowhere – he has nothing to lose, he’s No. 10 in the rankings and he’s new to the division. The only thing against him is my experience, which I have a lot more of, and I’m confident I can utilize it in the octagon”

Last July, Allesandre Pantoja took the UFC championship belt from Brandon Moreno, defeating the Mexican by split decision, and in December he made his first successful title defense, winning a unanimous decision over Brandon Royval.

Steve Erceg, 28, who debuted in the organization last June, has three wins in the UFC, winning by decisions over David Dvorak and Alessandro Costa, and knocking out Matt Schnell.

As a reminder, the title fight between Pantoja and Erceg will be the main event of UFC 301, which takes place on May 4 in Rio de Janeiro.