Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg - Odds, Tips & Predictions for UFC 301

Pantoja vs. Erceg
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 25. Apr 2024.

UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja will defend his title against No. 10 ranked Steve Erceg in the main event at UFC 301. The five-round title bout will take place on Saturday, May 4, at the Farmasi Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pantoja (27-5-0) is riding a five-fight win streak and successfully retained his belt with a unanimous decision over Brandon Royval in December. The reigning 125-pound champion earned a split-decision victory against Brandon Moreno last summer to claim the flyweight title.

Erceg (12-1-0) captured 'Performance of the Night' honors in his previous fight, a knockout win over Matt Schnell last month. The Australian has won 11 straight fights and has not tasted defeat since 2017. 

Co-Main Event - Jonathan Martinez vs. Jose Aldo

In the co-main event of UFC 301, UFC legend and former featherweight champion José Aldo (31-8-0) emerges from retirement to challenge bantamweight contender Jonathan Martinez (19-4-0). A legendary figure in MMA, Aldo returns to his country in Brazil, making a comeback to the octagon and adding significant interest to this matchup.

In his own words from an interview with MMA Junkie, "It’ll help me a lot, just because he’s a big name. A win is gonna open a lot of doors for me, that’s how I see it.” Entering the bout as the slight favorite with odds at -130 according to BetMGM sportsbook, Martinez is poised for what could be a career-defining performance against one of the sport’s greats.

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg Odds

Pantoja (-250) is the favorite to retain his flyweight belt against Erceg (+190), per BetMGM, one of the best UFC betting sites. The challenger has eight finishes, including six by submission, in 12 career wins. However, the champion is a skilled grappler who is also an adept striker.

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg Betting Predictions

Pantoja is a versatile fighter who can finish opponents on the mat or his feet. The Brazilian has ended 37% of his fights with submissions, and 30% each via knockout or decision.

The 34-year-old has an all-rounded fighting style that mixes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with striking techniques. Pantoja lands 4.32 significant strikes per minute with an effective 49% striking accuracy.

Erceg is a submission specialist who can finish fights in a variety of ways, including arm triangles and rear naked choke holds. The Aussie lands 4.57 significant strikes per minute with a 48% striking accuracy.

The 28-year-old has finished 55% of his fights with submissions, and 36% via decisions. Although Erceg has an unimpressive takedown accuracy of 30%, he boasts a spectacular 77% takedown defense.

While several MMA fighters felt that Erceg did not deserve a title shot, Pantoja compared his upcoming challenger to Royval and Moreno.

"I didn't expect it to be Steve Erceg, but it's a good name, too," Pantoja told MMA Junkie. "That's funny because if you watch my interviews, all the time I was talking about in the flyweight division, you can take someone from No. 10 and fight with the champion or the No. 1 contender, and it's going to be a good matchup. In this division, all the guys are so good.

"He's a tough opponent," Pantoja said on UFC Fight Pass show 'Bancada.' "He's tougher than Royval and Moreno for me because he comes from down the rankings and has nothing to lose. He's ranked No. 10 and is fresh in the division. The thing in my favor is that I'm more experienced in fighting and that will be used by me in the octagon. I can't make mistakes or underestimate him because he hits hard."

Betting Pick: Pantoja

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg Betting Tips

Betting odds for this flyweight title fight are live on trusted sportsbooks, including BetMGM, which has tagged Pantoja as a -250 favorite. The most common bet type for this UFC fight is the moneyline, a wager on who will win the fight outright.

Considering how the challenger has fought in just three UFC fights, the champion is a heavy favorite to successfully defend his title. However, Erceg is a dangerous fighter who brutally ended his previous fight. Pantoja is our pick to win the fight and a $100 wager on the champion at odds of -250 would net a total payout of $140.

The Over/Under bet is another popular type, where you wager on the number of rounds the fight will last. Given that four of Pantoja's previous six fights have gone three or more rounds, we do not expect the fight to end in the early rounds. Thus, betting Over 3 rounds could be a winning pick.

When and Where is the Alexandre Pantoja vs. Steve Erceg Fight?

The five-round light heavyweight championship fight will take place on Saturday, May 4, at the Farmasi Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UFC fans in New York can watch the fight live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.   

UFC 301 FAQs

UFC Flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja is the favorite to retain his belt against Steve Erceg at UFC 301. Pantoja is a -250 betting favorite, while Erceg is the +190 underdog, per BetMGM.

Two-time UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo (31-8-0) will come out of retirement in a bantamweight fight opposite #14-ranked Jonathan Martinez (19-4-0). Other matchups include a light heavyweight showdown pitting #10-ranked Anthony Smith (37-19-0) against #15-ranked Vitor Petrino (11-0-0), a middleweight encounter with #13-ranked Paul Craig (17-1-1) and #15-ranked Caio Borralho (15-1-0), a featherweight showdown featuring Joanderson Brito (16-3-1) and Jack Shore (17-1-0), and a women's strawweight clash between #13th-ranked Karolina Kowalkiewicz (16-7-0) and Iasmin Lucindo (15-5-0).

Bets can be placed during the fight as it is happening with live UFC odds that are constantly changing based on what's happening real-time inside the Octagon. The most popular types of in-play bettings are moneyline wagers representing the odds for who will win the fight outright. Other live betting types include the method of victory and how long the fight will last.

Mixed martial arts fans can place various bets on this UFC Flyweight Championship bout at BetMGM, a popular sportsbook in New York.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Let’s stay connected. Never miss a good news and betting offers in New York.

return to top