Alexander Volkanovski makes a bold prediction for the UFC 301 title fight

Former UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is confident that Steve Erceg will join the ranks of Australian titleholders on mixed martial arts’ biggest stage.

This weekend sees an important event take place for the Oceanic nation, as Erceg vies to follow in the footsteps of Alexander Volkanovski and Robert Whittaker by capturing UFC gold and taking it back Down Under.

Less than a year on from signing and in just his fourth Octagon appearance, “AstroBoy” will challenge for Alexandre Pantoja’s flyweight belt at UFC 301 in the champ’s home country of Brazil.

With Erceg having been plucked from the #10 spot in the division to battle “The Cannibal,” the home country favorite is widely expected to retain.

Alexander Volkanovski, however, expects his compatriot to pull off the upset…

Alexander Volkanovski Backs Erceg To ‘Shock The World’ In UFC 301 Headliner

During a recent interview with Fox Sports Australia, Alexander Volkanovski looked ahead to his fellow countryman’s upcoming test in Rio de Janeiro and assessed his chances of emerging with the flyweight strap around his waist.

“Alexander the Great” insisted that Erceg is more than ready for the opportunity he’s found himself days away from and is likely to unseat Pantoja in the UFC 301 curtain closer. 

“Steve Erceg is about to shock the world,” Volkanovski said. “And that’s why I’m so excited for this fight. Because when I see Steve fight, I know he’s ready for this. And I know that may be harder for other people to (agree with), because they haven’t seen him get tested in fights. But I know if he were, he would’ve shown it. And now Sunday, he gets that opportunity.

“Prediction?“I think he catches the champ, third round,” Volkanovski continued. “Pantoja has a style that’s dangerous, so Steve will have to respect that and weather the storm early. He doesn’t want to try and capitalize straight away, he could get caught. Plus, he can handle that fire anyway. So he’ll dodge some of the big things coming his way, figure things out… then it will be, ‘Who cares about this being in Rio, who cares about the crowd booing, who cares about facing the champion?’ Steve will be calm, composed, and that’s why I feel it will come in those middle rounds. He either catches him or gets the submission.”

Erceg will hope to prove his fellow Aussie’s assessment correct come fight night at Farmasi Arena on Saturday night, where he’ll plan on silencing an inevitably hostile reception from the crowd by delivering a standout, title-winning performance.

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