UFC returns to Rio de Janeiro for the first Brazilian PPV in over a year. The 13 fight card may lack in some name value but the fights should all deliver considerable action behind a loud wild crowd. The Prelims are set to kick off at 6PM ET and the Main Card will start at 10PM ET. Check below for my official UFC 301 Main Event Prediction!

Alexandre “The Cannibal” Pantoja (27-5) Vs Steve “Astroboy” Erceg (12-1)

The main event is sure to be a fight to remember with the flyweight title on the line.

Pantoja is the rightful favourite here having already beaten most of the top 10 and being in his home country of Brazil.

Pantoja is a very well rounded fighter with a number of finishes on his record. (8 KO, 10 SUB)

Pantoja has never been finished and all 5 of his losses have been via decision.

Pantoja will be the shorter man by 3 inches and as well the older man by 6 years.

Erceg is an unfamiliar fighter to most fans but make no mistake he is a formidable opponent who will present unique challenges to the champ.

Erceg is a proven finisher with 8 of his 12 wins coming via finish. (6 SUB, 2 KO)

In my prediction Erceg will be the much faster man and have the more calculated game plan.

There seems to be consensus that Pantoja will have the edge on the mat and Erceg will have the edge striking but I believe Erceg will be able to hold his own on the mat as well.

It is often said you are only as good as your last fight and while Erceg had a highlight KO, Pantoja failed to impress me in his 5 round victory over Brandon Royval.

I can’t blame anyone for backing Pantoja here but I believe this fight to be ripe for the upset and will make a play on the upcoming Australian fighter.

Pick: Steve Erceg ML (+157)

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