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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Steve Erceg ‘devastated’ by UFC 301 title struggle loss: ‘I blew it’

Steve Erceg is conscious some ill-timed determination making seemingly value him from leaving UFC 301 as new flyweight champion.

Simply 11 months after making his promotional debut, Erceg (12-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) challenged Alexandre Pantoja (28-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC) for the title on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, developing quick by unanimous determination in a struggle that finally determined by the fifth spherical.

Two of three judges had the struggle knotted at two rounds every going into the ultimate body, the place Erceg was doing properly till being reversed on a takedown try. That allowed Pantoja to take the spherical and shut the struggle robust.

“I actually thought if I might get him down I might eat up the time on the bottom and make him much more drained,” Erceg advised FULL SEND MMA within the aftermath of UFC 301. “So I in all probability would’ve completed the very same factor. Subsequent time I simply must be higher at is.

“I assumed it might’ve been 2-2 or 3-1 for him. I knew it was shut within the third. I knew I used to be on the fourth. I fought to win the final spherical to place myself within the place that I give myself an opportunity. I blew it.”

Though few had been giving Erceg a lot of an opportunity in opposition to Pantoja, who has defeated a lot of the ranked fights within the division, the truth was a lot completely different.

The Australian exceeded the expectations of many along with his valiant efficiency, however Erceg isn’t right here for ethical victories. He needed to depart Brazil with the belt, and admits it’s troublesome not attaining that purpose when it was inside his grasp.

“I’m clearly devastated,” Erceg stated. “Regardless of the quick discover, or three fights within the UFC, I got here to win. I assumed I might do it. I assumed I used to be ending excessive, however he out-scrambled me. He did higher, and I’ll be again.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 301.

Make sure to go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of blended martial arts.

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