Alexandre Pantoja further strengthened his case for a title shot Saturday when he defeated Alex Perez at UFC 277.
Pantoja (25-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) extended his winning streak to three fights with a first-round submission win over Perez (23-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in a high-stakes flyweight matchup with championship implications.
The Brazilian used his elite jiu-jitsu to get the better of Perez and get his hand raised in the main card bout at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
There was no time wasted for Pantoja and Perez to go after it. They charged each other at the opening bell and exchanged wild punches. That opened an opportunity for Pantoja to bounce on the back of Perez, though, and he immediately got a standing body triangle and went to work. He locked a crushing face lock on Perez, who was left with no choice to tap out just 91 seconds after the fight began.
No time wasted, @PantojaMMA came to make a #UFC277pic.twitter.com/0ksPKouPSJ
— UFC (@ufc) July 31, 2022
With the win, Pantoja now is 4-1 in his past five fights dating back to December 2019. He’s rapidly closing in on his first UFC title opportunity, but will remain in the queue for champion Deiveson Figueiredo behind the winner of Saturday’s interim flyweight title bout between Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France.
“I’m going to prove it however many times I need to,” Pantoja said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. “I know that I’m ready for the title. Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France, I beat them both in two weeks (on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’). The champ is right here.”
Up-to-the-minute UFC 277 results include:
- Alexandre Pantoja def. Alex Perez via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 1:31
- Magomed Ankalaev def. Anthony Smith via TKO (punches) Round 2, 3:09
- Alex Morono def. Matthew Semelsberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Drew Dober def. Rafael Alves via knockout (body punch) Round 3, 1:30
- Hamdy Abdelwahab vs. DonTale Mayes via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Drakkar Klose def. Rafa Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Michael Morales def. Adam Fugitt via TKO (punches) Round 3, 1:09
- Joselyne Edwards def. Ji Yeon Kim via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria via TKO (knees, punches) Round 2, 3:33
- Orion Cosce def. Blood Diamond via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 277.
UFC 277: Official scorecards from Dallas