A high-stakes flyweight matchup between contenders, Alexandre ‘The Cannibal’ Pantoja and Askar ‘Bullet’ Askarov – is slated for a UFC event on July 18th. – with a location and venue yet to be confirmed by the promotion.
#5 ranked 125-pound challenger, Pantoja – recently rebounded from a defeat to Deiveson Figueiredo, taking a first-round knockout over Matt Schnell at UFC Fight Night Busan in December. Askarov on the other hand, featured for the second time in the promotion at UFC 246 in January – taking a unanimous decision win over one-time title challenger, Tim Elliott. Askarov confirmed the news on his Twitter.
Following a run of three consecutive victories, Rio de Janeiro native, Pantoja was fast-tracking his way to the flyweight championship. Triumphs over Brandon Moreno, Ulka Sasaki, and former title chaser, compatriot Wilson Reis – were undone, however with the aforementioned loss to fellow Brazilian, Figueiredo. The 30-year-old made his promotional bow back in January of 2018, taking a split decision over Eric Shelton – before a rear-naked choke win over Neil Seery. In his first blemish under the organization’s banner, Pantoja dropped a shutout judging to Dustin Ortiz.
Making his first appearance in the promotion, former ACB flyweight best, Askarov battled to a majority draw with common opponent, Moreno – back at UFC Fight Night Mexico City in September of last year. Picking up his first promotional triumph over the above noted, Elliott – Askarov took the #6 rank at 125-pounds. With an undefeated 10-0-1 record, Askarov joined the ACB ranks back in 2015 – taking the flyweight title before his transition to the UFC.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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