Coming off three straight wins in the UFC, Alexandre
Pantoja
expects to serve as the backup fighter for the
flyweight title clash between Deiveson
Figueiredo
and Brandon
Moreno
at UFC
283
.

Pantoja says he is in the best shape of his career and is ready to
face either Figueiredo or Moreno in Rio de Janeiro. However, he
believes the scheduled title fight isn’t necessarily the best draw
for the fans.

“I don’t particularly like the way Deiveson and Moreno are selling
their fourth fight. I have no doubt that if UFC had scheduled me
against Figueiredo the local audience would be much more interested
in that main event. I imagine how many buses would come from my
city (Arraial do Cabo) to fill up Jeunesse Arena. But anyway, my
ticket to Rio has already been bought. I´ll be ready and willing to
substitute for anyone.”

The American Top Team-trained Pantoja already has experience
against both fighters.

“The good point about that is that whoever wins, UFC will have an
interesting fight to sell,” Pantoja said. “I´ve already defeated
Moreno twice, so a trilogy would make sense. Also, I lost to
Deiveson via decision in 2019, but I improved a lot in the last
three years. I’m sure I can beat him now.”

Pantoja believes that Moreno coming to Rio de Janeiro to promote
the fight was a valuable experience for the Mexican.

“The press conference in Rio was psychologically good for Moreno.
He and his team were very intelligent to go to a Samba place, show
his charisma, feel the atmosphere and break the fear that many
foreigners have to fight here,” Pantoja said. “Deiveson must
understand that, unlike American fans, Brazilians don’t like the
trash talk character he is playing. Just like Charles
Oliveira
, Deiveson has an amazing history of overcoming
adversity, something the Brazilian audience likes to cheer for. He
just need to be himself and return to his roots to have total
support of Brazilian crowd.”

 During the press conference, Figueiredo stated that he
planned to move up to bantamweight after defeating Moreno at UFC
283, clearing the way for Pantoja to rule the flyweight division.
Pantoja would prefer another shot at Figueiredo in that
scenario.

“No way. I want him to stay and fight me again … I want Figueiredo
to stay and face me again. After we fight he can go wherever he
wants to.”

As far as good-selling stories are concerned, Pantoja also dreams
of making a superfight in the bantamweight division.

“I had bad blood with Sean O´Malley in sparring some years ago.
When I win the flyweight belt, if he gets the bantamweight title, I
hope we can solve that problem inside the UFC Octagon, champion vs.
champion in a superfight.”

According to Pantoja, his biggest dream since beginning his MMA
career was to fight for the UFC belt.

“I’ve dreamed of arriving in my city, Arraial do Cabo, in a
firetruck with the belt on display. But to win the UFC belt
fighting in Rio, the city I was born, in front of my people is
beyond my best dreams,” he said. “Anyway, I´ll do my part by being
ready in January.”  





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Alexandre Pantoja Plans to Be Backup Fighter for Flyweight Title Bout at UFC 283

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