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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Betting Tips / UFC 301: Erceg vs Pantoja: Odds, Tips, and Predictions 05/04/24

UFC 301: Erceg vs Pantoja: Odds, Tips, and Predictions 05/04/24

UFC Betting Tips Β· - Β·

Publish Date: 05/04/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

UFC 301 takes place Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro and features Brazil as an integral player – from Alexandre Pantoja defending his flyweight championship against Steve Erceg in the main event to Jose Aldo returning as “The King of Rio” as he faces Jonathan Martinez in the co-main event. Will Brazilian fans leave happier than after UFC 283 back in January 2023?

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Β 

Pantoja vs Erceg

  • Best Bet: Pantoja by submission +300
  • Moneyline Erceg+156
  • Moneyline Pantoja -188
  • Over/Under 4.5

These odds were updated at 9 am EST on 05/04/24, coming from Draft Kings.

Our Best Pick: Pantoja by Submission to Win

Erceg is a big flyweight who doesn’t shy away from grappling with opponents, making him a formidable opponent. Utilizing an effective jab and active kicking game, Erceg manages to remain long with an effective jab as well as active leg kicks or craftily placed question mark kicks, Erceg shows excellent control of his lower extremities and continues to advance as an opponent.

Erceg demonstrates an intelligent left hand that provides him with numerous options when selecting shots or timing them. Inside the clinch, Erceg offers knee strikes as expected for someone of his height while sneaking in elbows that allow him to close over frames easily.

Erceg has an arsenal of devastating cross-counters that should serve him well in this matchup, but he must respect the intensity that Alexandre Pantoja will be sending back at him.

As his moniker “The Cannibal” implies, Pantoja is an offensive marauder who doesn’t hesitate to use violence against opponents to feed themselves.

Pantoja thrives when coming forward to pressurize his opponent towards the cage, often using his striking to force their opponents closer in. Though his technique and defense could use improvement, Pantoja usually finds success during offensive phases effortlessly and countering well in combination with opponents.

Pantoja has steadily built his counterstriking expertise over his lifetime, giving him more breathing room and options when operating from within his opponent’s base.

Pantoja showcases impeccable instincts in the clinch and can land body knees and strikes off of breaks with ease. However, both fighters pose numerous threats in close quarters that makes grappling an achievable option on either side.

Given their propensity for chaos on their feet, no one should be shocked if these two end up intertwining on the ground.

Erceg, who like Volkanovski is also an Australian national wrestling gold medalist, can often switch things up and go for takedowns when necessary.

Erceg is known for his strong grappling from multiple locations. From double legs along a fence, to reactive shots in open mat, and strong front headlocks he utilizes into positive positions and potential chokes against opponents, Erceg shows an array of skills and is adept at moving throughout any matchup.

Pantoja offers some powerful reactive doubles in his arsenal, yet must respect Erceg’s submission counters in order to secure victory. Pantoja prefers working from bodylock positions – a strategy which helps him sidestep potential front-headlock scenarios.

Pantoja first took up wrestling after Henry Cejudo joined Team TUF, yet his bodylock proved dangerous from day one.

Pantoja’s clinch striking has made him adept at wrapping his hands around opponents and throwing them aside when needed.

Pantoja’s cage awareness allows him to quickly wedge himself between the fence and his opponent’s back, and once he gains access to any position or get any advantage in any fight – Pantoja knows just when and how to change its dynamic!

Pantoja brings a high level of grappling and physicality into every matchup he contests, but Alessandro Costa was able to find success applying himself from certain positions against Erceg.

The official pick is Pantoja by second-round submission.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet Pantoja to Win
  • Pantoja better on the ground
  • Pantoja more experienced
  • Pantoja clinch-striking will be the difference
20% up to $1000
Go to DraftKings

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Pantoja vsΒ  Moneyline

I don’t love the money line and Pantoja in this fight as the odds are almost 2-1, so I will bet him to win by sunmission which are much better odds at +300. To find the best line, you need accounts with multiple sportsbooks, and we got you covered as we break down the best sports betting app

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet Pantoja by Submission
  • Pantoja to dominate
  • Pantoja will win
  • Submission win
20% up to $1000
Go to DraftKings

Β 

Spann vs Guskov Over/Under Analysis

The Over/Under is 4.5 rounds, and I think the best bet is to bet the under in this fight. The Under 4.5 has a line set at +110.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet the Under4.5
  • Pantoja too experienced
  • Erceg not ready
  • Pantoja will win
20% up to $1000
Go to DraftKings

Β 

Conclusion

Erceg will find it challenging to deal with Pantoja’s style; not only will he bring physicality and skills unheard-of in the cage before, but his clinch tactics and bodylock sensibilities should prove useful against him.

Erceg might attempt to use his superior wrestling ability against Pantoja like Dustin Ortiz and Askar Askarov have, yet Pantoja has proven difficult for Erceg to knock out in these final stages of his career.

Although I could see Erceg’s jab and counters having serious impact on Pantoja’s feet, they will probably only spur him on to kick out his opponent’s supporting leg even harder and counter even harder (something which happened against both Brandon Moreno and Royval in recent bouts despite him feeling tired).

Erceg has an inherently open style, leaving his head up for overhand rights and counters to hit, making Pantoja an obvious favorite to stop Erceg within two rounds. If he fails, I expect “Astro Boy” will remain competitive throughout this fight and show why so many boxing fans consider him one of their top favorites.

Pantoja officially selected by second-round submission.

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