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Jonathan Martinez punches Adrian Yanez in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Significant Stats | UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg

Preview The Key Matchups On UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg Using Stats.

(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book as of May 1, 2024, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)

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Main Event: Alexandre Pantoja vs Steve Erceg

Alexandre Pantoja

Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil poses for photo prior to the UFC 301 at Sugar Loaf on April 29, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil poses for photo prior to the UFC 301 at Sugar Loaf on April 29, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 6 finishes (tied 3rd all-time among FLW), 4.32 strikes landed per minute (8th all-time among FLW), 48.1% takedown accuracy (7th all-time among FLW)

How To Watch And Stream UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg

What It Means: “The Cannibal” is an absolute marauder in the Octagon. Pantoja likes to march forward, get in his opponent’s face and swing heavy punches with little, to no, abandon. Part of it is just his style, and part of it is his supreme confidence in his grappling. He doesn’t mind pushing the pace a bit because he can also slow the fight down with a takedown and top control, and he has a good sense of when to calm things down and score points to win a round. He is a nasty grappler, especially once he can take his opponent’s back, but he’s not afraid to stand and bang for a while, either. Pantoja throws kicks well, but his best work is with his hands when upright. 

Steve Erceg

teve Erceg of Australia punches Matt Schnell in a flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 02, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
teve Erceg of Australia punches Matt Schnell in a flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 02, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 4.57 strikes landed per minute, 1.69 takedowns per 15 minutes, 77% takedown defense

What It Means: Erceg is a rock-solid, well-rounded fighter. The Perth-bred Australian is a patient fighter, often willing to take the path of least resistance to win the fight. He has good wrestling, and clinches well along the fence, but he also has a sharp and technically tight striking game. He doesn’t have to extend himself much to bring power into his shots, and his accuracy is impressive, as well. 

MORE UFC 301: Get To Know Steve Erceg | Get To Know Alexandre Pantoja | Fight By Fight Breakdown | On The Rise

What to Look For in the Fight: On his current five-fight winning streak, Pantoja has carried a bit of an aura with him. The 34-year-old has put all his skills together, and winning the title only made him a more confident fighter. Fighting in Brazil for the first time in his UFC career, Pantoja is almost certainly going to put his foot on the gas pedal early, and Erceg will have to rely on his footwork to either stay off the fence or to stand his ground and return fire when Pantoja throws. Erceg has shown he has the knockout power to change a fight and has won half his pro fights via submission, so the well-roundedness is there. How the Australian handles what is certainly going to be a raucously pro-Pantoja crowd is also a factor. 

Co-Main Event: Jonathan Martinez vs José Aldo

Jonathan Martinez 

Jonathan Martinez reacts after his victory against Adrian Yanez in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Jonathan Martinez reacts after his victory against Adrian Yanez in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 52.7% significant strike accuracy (8th all-time among BW), 9 knockdowns landed (tied 5th all-time among BW), 0.97 knockdowns averaged per 15 minutes (9th all-time among BW)

UFC 301 FREE FIGHTS: Pantoja vs Moreno 2 | Erceg vs Schnell | Martinez vs Yanez | Aldo vs Mendes 1 

What It Means: Much of Martinez’s game starts with his ability to get his low leg kicks going. From his southpaw stance, he throws the low kick to the inside or outside of his opponent’s lead leg before working up to the body, especially when fighting in the open stance. He manages range well, keeping distance even when his opponent tries to close him down and get into boxing range, and he also throws the leg kicks from closer in, as well. He has a good, active lead hand and sharp boxing, but his best weapon is his rear leg attacks.

José Aldo

José Aldo of Brazil punches Renato Moicano of Brazil in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at CFO Centro de Formacao Olimpica on February 2, 2019 in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
José Aldo of Brazil punches Renato Moicano of Brazil in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at CFO Centro de Formacao Olimpica on February 2, 2019 in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 18:04 average fight time (2nd longest all-time among BW), 89.3% takedown defense (4th all-time among BW), 3.57 strikes landed per minute

What It Means: The King of Rio is known as a furious, all-action fighter, but perhaps his most underrated attribute is his defense. He is a wicked-quick counter striker who throws with venom, and his takedown defense is wildly impressive. Aldo is a quick-twitch athlete, and when he lets his boxing go in combinations, it is menacing. He also sits down well on body shots to his opponent’s liver. For a long time, Aldo’s leg kicks were one of his best weapons, although he went away from that attack later in his career.

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What to Look For in the Fight: Martinez is going to want to stay in kickboxing range to implement his usual steady diet of leg kicks. Whether Aldo decides to play that game and attack Martinez’s legs as well is unsure, as he could also choose to close the range, pressure Martinez and crowd the kicker. In the pocket, Aldo is probably the more powerful fighter, but Martinez can also mix things up and wrestle Aldo to at least force the Brazilian to consider that attack.

Other Fight to Watch (Paul Craig vs Caio Borralho)

Paul Craig

Paul Craig of Scotland kicks Andre Muniz of Brazil in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on July 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Paul Craig of Scotland kicks Andre Muniz of Brazil in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on July 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 37% takedown defense, 1.6 submissions averaged per 15 minutes, 1.76 takedowns averaged per 15 minutes

RELATED: Exciting Fighters You Might Not Know | UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg

What It Means: Craig is a submission artist through-and-through. The 36-year-old Scot has decent skills on the feet and likes to throw a variety of kicks with little, to no, worry of getting taken down. His guard is as lethal as any on the roster, and he only needs a split second to wrap up a triangle or armbar attempt. Although Craig is perhaps too comfortable settling to work off his back, he also is a willing offensive wrestler. If he can get a fight into any sort of grappling engagement, Craig is comfortable.

Caio Borralho

Caio Borralho of Brazil punches Abus Magomedov of Russia in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 04, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Zuffa LLC)
Caio Borralho of Brazil punches Abus Magomedov of Russia in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 04, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Zuffa LLC)

Key Stats: 46.1% control time percentage (3rd), 40.7% top position percentage (2nd), 1.87 strikes absorbed per minute (1st)

What It Means: Borralho is an aggressive fighter who leans on his wrestling base, first and foremost. While he has decent striking, Borralho’s bread-and-butter is his grappling, and he chains takedowns, timing shots in open space, as well as against the Octagon fence. He is patient in progressing to each position, maintaining control and offensive positions.

What to Look For in the Fight: Craig is by far Borralho’s toughest test, and he has the style to threaten Borralho where he is most comfortable. How Borralho navigates Craig’s jiu jitsu while still implementing his wrestling-heavy attack is key. It’s not too likely that the two grapplers will cancel each other out and engage in a slugfest, although Borralho probably has the purer and more devastating power between the two.

Order UFC 301: Pantoja vs Hill

UFC 301: Pantoja vs Erceg took place live from Farmasi Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 4, 2024. See the Final Prelim and Main Card Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!