Pantoja vs. Erceg Start Time, Date, Full Card & Betting Odds

(Image via Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

The fifteenth UFC event of 2024 so far, UFC 301, begins in Brazil. It will be headlined by Alexandre Pantoja (27-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and Steve Erceg (12-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in a flyweight title matchup on Saturday night. Pantoja wants to make it his second successful defense, having defeated Brandon Royval in December at UFC 296 in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Erceg’s rapid rise to stardom is something to watch, as he’s won 12 of his first 13 fights and is unblemished since signing with the UFC in June 2023. Even though he’s not the so-called popular choice to earn the next chance in gold, UFC opted for the newest matchup, in which Erceg enters so-called enemy territory.

Regardless of whether Erceg wins or loses, MMA fans will remember his name as his career is just beginning.

Erceg joins a short list of fighters who have earned a title shot very early in their UFC careers, including Brock Lesnar, Alex Pereira and Liz Carmouche, to name a few.

READ MORE: UFC 301: Alexandre Pantoja is inspired by the ‘Rocky’ movies to give Steve Erceg a title shot

The co-main event features the return of a local icon, José Aldo (31-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC). After a brief hiatus and mini-retirement from MMA, he returns to the UFC and will face Jonathan Martinez (19-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC). While Aldo is the former UFC featherweight champion, Martinez has quickly risen to the upper echelon of bantamweight, winning six consecutive fights.

The rest of the card isn’t heavy by any means, but there are some intriguing names to watch that possibly have the potential to be future title challengers, contenders, or better yet, champions.

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know ahead of UFC 301, the promotion’s first of three consecutive cards in May.

READ MORE: UFC 301 Card: Predictions for Pantoja vs. Erceg, Aldo vs. Martinez

Who is in the UFC 301 lineup and what are the current betting odds?

Check out the fight order and betting odds below, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. A late scratch on the card occurred this morning when William Gomis vs. Jean Silva was ruled out after weigh-ins due to Gomis’ unsafe weight cut despite making the featherweight limit, two pounds lighter, at 143.

Although Gomis vs. Silva was cancelled, the card will continue with 13 fights, since the 26 fighters were in weight before the event successfully.

Main card (start time 10 pm ET, ESPN+ PPV)
Main event: Flyweight Championship: (c.) Alexandre Pantoja (-185) vs. Steve Erceg (+154) – five rounds
• Co-main event: Bantamweight: José Aldo (+120) vs. Jonathan Martínez (-142)
• Light heavyweight: Anthony Smith (+425) vs. Vitor Petrino (-575)
• Middleweight: Michel Pereira (-625) vs. Ihor Potieria (+455)
• Middleweight: Paul Craig (+455) vs. Caio Borralho (-625)

Prelims (Start time 8 pm ET, ESPN2/ESPN+)
• Featherweight: Joanderson Brito (+154) vs. Jack Shore (-185)
• Women’s strawweight: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+320) vs. Iasmin Lucindo (-410)
• Lightweight: Elves Brenner (+210 vs. Myktybek Orolbai (-258)
• Lightweight: Joaquim Silva (+164) vs. Drakkar Klose (-198)

First prelims (start time 6 pm ET, ESPN+)
• Lightweight: Mauricio Ruffy (-218) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (+180)
• Women’s flyweight: Dione Barbosa (-238) vs. Ernesta Kareckaite (+195)
• Light weight: Ismael Bonfim (-550) vs. Vinc Pachel (+410)
• Flyweight: Alessandro Costa (-122) vs. Kevin Borjas (+102)

*Odds are at time of publication and are subject to change. Please play responsibly.

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