Sunday, May 19, 2024

UFC 301 | The Crystal Ball: What next for Pantoja, Aldo, Pereira & Borralho


Alexandre Pantoja

In the main event of the evening, Alexandre Pantoja managed to defend his flyweight title for the second time. However, this did not go without a hitch. Australian Steve Erceg sold his skin dearly and ultimately lost via unanimous decision after a competitive fight. For Pantoja, finding opponents remains problematic.


UFC 301 | Pantoja remains champion in attrition battle against Erceg

The Brazilian has already defeated top competitors Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval twice. Manel Kape missed weight and Amir Albazi and Kai Kara-France are returning from injuries. Alex Perez, who won against Matheus Nicolau last week, was also defeated by the Brazilian. That leaves undefeated Muhammad Mokaev. However, Mokaev appears to be in action in London on July 27. If Mokaev wins, he seems to be the most logical opponent for Pantoja.

Jose Aldo

More than a year and a half after retiring and being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, Jose Aldo won in his comeback last weekend. The King of Rio won convincingly against Jonathan Martinez. The Brazilian was too technical and too agile for the American. Aldo will return to the rankings with this victory and indicated that he may want to make one last run for the title.


UFC 301 | Aldo wins convincingly against Martinez during a comeback

Aldo can be matched with multiple opponents, but there is really only one fight that fans have been hoping for for years. That is the match against former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. The UFC actually wanted to stage that bout in Rio de Janeiro, but Cruz was unable to do so for unknown reasons. Aldo vs. Cruz would be the perfect match to put on a PPV later this year. A fight between two absolute legends in the sport.

Michel Pereira

There seems to be no limit to Michel Pereira’s drive for action in the middleweight division. The Brazilian was already very good at welterweight, but seems unable to stop a division higher. Pereira made mincemeat of Ihor Potieria and had him tapped with a Guillotine Choke within a minute. Pereira really needs to get a step up in his upcoming match as he whistles through the men in the regions between the top 15 and top 25 of the division.


UFC 301 | Pereira makes short work of Potieria

The perfect match-up is a fight against Roman Dolidze. Dolidze was actually supposed to fight Anthony Hernandez on June 1, but the American withdrew injured. Pereira suffered no injuries and fought for less than a minute. Dolidze lost his last match, so it is logical that the Georgian has to fight a lower-ranked fighter. An ideal opportunity for Pereira. And of course the match does not have to take place on June 1, but can also be a main event on a UFC APEX card later this year.

Caio Borralho

Just like Michel Pereira, Caio Borralho is also one of the Brazilian assets in the middleweight division. Borralho kept his promise by stopping Paul Craig via knockout. The talented Brazilian seems to be heading for the top 10 of the division. Borralho has been undefeated since 2015 and is a very difficult fortress for many opponents to take, especially on the ground. The Brazilian therefore wanted to showcase his stand-up against Craig.


UFC 301 | Borralho knocks out Craig in the second round

Borralho challenged Jared Cannonier afterwards. However, the American is already booked against Nassourdine Imavov. This makes a fight against Jack Hermansson perhaps a logical step for the Brazilian. Hermansson is known as a very tough fighter who is often unimpressed by new up and coming fighters. A Borralho victory over Hermansson would look very good on his resume.

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