Alexandre Pantoja Exclusive Interview Ahead of UFC 301

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Stake.com Ambassador Alexandre Pantoja spoke to us ahead of his Main Event fight at UFC 301 , on May 4th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pantoja will defend his UFC World Flyweight Championship for the second time, as he takes on Steve Erceg in his hometown.

Check out what Pantoja had to say and read up on Stake’s expert UFC picks before placing your bets on the blockbuster UFC event on Stake Sportsbook .

What was your reaction to UFC 300?

I loved it, all the card. Starting with Figueredo and finishing with Poatan, this was very significant

for me being from Brazil. To see Figgy go from Flyweight to Bantamweight and then finish the former Champ was great.

Then with Alex Pereira doing so well, he deserves all of that.

He has a beautiful story, from alcoholism to a champion in two divisions, and now thinking about going to Heavyweight, and I think he’s ready for that.

He’s so big, so strong.

An amazing card, and now we go to Rio, my town, main event, and I’m so excited, it’s going to be a very good night.

How are you feeling ahead of UFC 301, and do you feel any added pressure after what an incredible event UFC 300 turned out to be?

I felt the pressure before 300, because I’m fighting in Brazil.

For ten years I haven’t fought in Brazil, and I am now the main event.

I’m from Copacabana, and a lot of my friends have sent me posters and banners in Copacabana with my face on it.

It’s the biggest show in the world, and I’m headlining, so there is always pressure.

I want to feel the vibe with the Brazilians, I want to fight for my people.

It is my night, and God has prepared this night for me.

I expect everybody to leave the arena with a big smile on their face.

That’s why I fight, to take on the best people in the world, and to make people happy.

The flyweight division is so exciting, what are your ambitions? Are you thinking of becoming the greatest flyweight in the UFC?

No one can beat Demetrius Johnson as the best flyweight in the UFC, I love him!

Maybe I could try and defend my belt eleven times, but I don’t think I have time to do that.

For me, my dream fight is against DJ, but I have a lot of challenges in flyweight.

I am very excited to fight Albazi, and I hope that Kape comes back and makes the weight.

Of course, I need to give a chance to Mokaev, but as of right now, I want to try and be a Champion of the World on May 4.

Today, my training partner beat my ass in the gym, so who’s the champion of the UFC?

He is, I gave him my belt. You can’t be the best in the world 24 hours a day, and I am in the process of trying to be the best in the world.

It feels like you have a lot to lose in this fight, is that what makes Steve Erceg dangerous?

Oh yeah man, he has nothing to lose. He’s already won!

He came from two victories and now is fighting for the title, so he’s hungry and he’s happy, which is a tough combination - I want to be super ready for him.

When your career is over, how would you like to be remembered as a fighter?

This is very important for me. I do everything that I can every single day, to become a better fighter.

I have great support from my wife, and she gives me the space to be phenomenal, and that is what I try to be every day in my life.

I want everybody to remember me as a tough guy, but also without the octagon. I think people realise now, before the octagon, I was a Champion.