UFC 301: Main Card Results | UFC 301- Pantoja vs Erceg ...

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Published Time: 05.05.2024 - 06:05:34 Modified Time: 05.05.2024 - 06:05:34

Official Scorecards UFC 301, Steve Erceg, Alexandre Pantoja

Caio Borralho kicked off the main card with a walk-off knockout win over Paul Craig, sending the crowd at Farmasi Arena into hysterics.

The Fighting Nerds representative dominated the opening stanza, connecting with clean shots and beckoning Craig back to his feet whenever the Scotsman looked to get the fight to the canvas. After hurting Craig early in the second, Borralho stung him once again and cranked up the pressure, closing things out with a clean left hand two minutes into the round.

That’s now six straight UFC victories for the promising Dana White’s Contender Series graduate, who should take another step forward in the rankings and in terms of competition after this effort.

Michel Pereira continues to run through everybody!

“Demolidor” dropped Ihor Potieria with a jab, and then returned to his chaotic ways, back-flipping onto his prone opponent before latching onto a guillotine choke when the Ukrainian fighter looked to work back to his feet. Despite tapping, Potieria still went to sleep, while Pereira celebrated another rapid finish.

There was some controversy after the finish, as it was clear that Pereira’s knee caught Potieria in the head as he was coming to the ground, which could have resulted in a disqualification or no contest verdict. That wasn’t the case here, as Pereira picked up his third straight middleweight win in less than 75 seconds, further establishing himself as a dark horse contender in the 185-pound ranks.  

Anthony Smith wrapped up a quick guillotine choke to dispatch Vitor Petrino from the ranks of the unbeaten midway through Saturday’s main card.

The former title challenger took full advantage of the youngster making a tactical mistake, as Petrino left his head on the outside while slowly attacking a takedown early in the contest. When Petrino hoisted Smith into the air, the veteran locked in the choke, pulling out a tap from the Brazilian once the two hit the canvas.

This was a great rebound win for Smith, who had lost three of his previous four fights. The 35-year-old said he wasn’t going to be a stepping stone for the unbeaten youngster and proved that on Saturday.  

“The King of Rio” walked into Farmasi Arena wearing a crown and then went out and pitched a shutout against the streaking Jonathan Martinez, much to the delight of the partisan crowd in attendance.

From the outset, the former featherweight champion was locked in and sharp, out-boxing Martinez before taking it up a notch in the third round, where he rocked the surging Factory X man multiple times. This was a vintage effort from the UFC Hall of Fame member, and the kind of triumphant homecoming performance many had hoped for when this contest was first announced.

The scorecards were a formality — Aldo was clearly the victorious party — and the emotion on his face as he stood in the center of the Octagon following the contest was a beautiful moment for one of the absolute best of his generation.

And still!

Hometown champion Alexandre Pantoja successfully defended his title in his return to Rio de Janeiro, out-working game challenger Steve Erceg over five rounds to retain the flyweight belt.

Pantoja came out with a little more aggression than he showed in his last couple fights, almost as if he was trying to take Erceg out of the fight and test his mettle straight away. The challenger weathered the storm and brought the action to the Brazilian in return, showcasing his crisp boxing, while mixing in elbows in close range and cutting Pantoja.

Erceg seemed to garner some momentum in the fourth round, but in the final stanza, the champion took advantage of a couple tactical miscalculations by the Australian, turning Erceg takedown attempts into opportunities to control the grappling exchanges.

All three judges scored the fight in favor of the champion, who extended his winning streak to six with the victory. Less than a year after claiming the title, Pantoja has already picked up a pair of successful title defenses to cement his standing as the top flyweight in the world.

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