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UFC champ Alexandre Pantoja teases fight vs. name ‘nobody will expect’

LAS VEGAS – UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja is hinting at a big fight next.

Pantoja (28-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC) notched his second title defense when he outlasted Steve Erceg at UFC 301 in May. The Brazilian says his next title fight is already being discussed, and the opponent will be a surprise to many.

“UFC has already talked to me,” Pantoja told reporters on the red carpet of the UFC Hall of Fame on Thursday (h/t James Lynch). “I expect something in in two, three months. I (cannot) say anything right now but it’s going to be huge for everyone and one name that I think nobody will expect. I’m super glad about the name. Very good for my career, it’s huge for me.”

Pantoja can also see a No. 1 contender emerging out of the flyweight clash between Manel Kape and Muhammad Mokaev on July 27 at UFC 304 in Manchester. He is excited about the current state of the division.

“I think it’s going to be a good match,” Pantoja said. “Two tough challengers. Manel Kape’s very solid. About Muhammad Mokaev, some people need to see something more. I’m one of those guys. With Manel, it’s going to be huge for both guys. But I’m super happy about my division.

“We have very good names. The division’s on fire. You have Tatsuro (Taira), a couple main events we have. Super happy about the division. I love to see the fans defend my division saying, ‘Hey, shut your mouth you casual, you don’t understand anything.’ That’s what I think too.”

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