The UFC has finalized a big time flyweight matchup for their end of July PPV. Ag.Fight was the first to report and later confirmed by MMA Fighting that the promotion has finalized a matchup between top contenders Alexandre Pantoja (24-5) and Alex Perez (24-6).
The fight will go down at UFC 277 on July 30th. Originally, Perez was supposed to take on Askar Askarov a couple of weeks prior to this event. However, Askarov had to pull out of the fight with an injury and as a result, the UFC switched directions.
Pantoja needed a fight and it was the perfect time to slot him in. Perez has been incredibly inactive over the last couple of years. From injuries to weight issues, Perez has not appeared inside the octagon since his title shot against Deiveson Figueiredo.
Perez had won three fights in a row to earn that shot against Figueiredo. He’s finally getting back inside the octagon in July, however, he’s taking on one of the more dangerous contenders in the UFC’s flyweight division.
Future UFC title challenger?
Since May of 2018, Alexandre Pantoja is 5-2 in the UFC. He has wins over Brandon Moreno, Manel Kape and Matt Schnell during this stretch. The only two men who have defeated Pantoja inside the octagon during this stretch is Figueiredo and Askar Askarov.
Originally, Pantoja was supposed to fight Brandon Moreno for the UFC title late last year. However, injuries forced that fight to be scrapped and the trilogy between Moreno and Figueiredo was booked instead. We haven’t seen Pantoja since all of this happened.
Overall, he’s won back-to-back fights and it’s very timely that he’s getting this fight with Perez on the same card where Moreno and Kai Kara-France are fighting for the interim title. Earlier this week, Deiveson Figueiredo stated that he might vacate his UFC title and move up top bantamweight.
If that was to happen, this fight with Perez and Pantoja would likely be a title eliminator. This is a huge fight to watch in the flyweight division.