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Hometown champion Pantoja unanimously outpoints Erceg at UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO — Hometown champion Alexandre Pantoja unanimously outpointed Australian Steve Erceg on Saturday night to retain his flyweight championship at UFC 301.

Pantoja (28-5), the 34-year-old flyweight champion dominated the fight against Erceg (12-2), but was unable to secure the win before five rounds.

Pantoja, who claimed the belt last July after defeating Mexican Brandon Moreno, defended his title last November against Brandon Royval and now in his hometown took care of Erceg to have a six-match winning streak and remains undefeated in almost four years.

The 28-year-old Ercerg, defeated David Dvořák and Alessandro Costa and Mattew Schnell to challenge Pantoja.

In the co-main event, one of Brazil’s former world champions, Jose Aldo, returned to the octagon after 21 months and toppedAmerican Jonathan Martinez by unanimous decision.

Aldo, who lost to Merab Dvalishvili in his previous fight, dominated the fight and took care of Martinez, who has won six in a row.

Also on the main card, Brazilians Caio Borralho knocked out Paul Craig in the second round, and Michel Pereira won by submission against Igor Potieria in the first round. Also, American Anthony Smith defeated local fighter Vitor Petrino by submission in the first round.


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