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Alexandre Pantoja wants back up spot for Benavidez vs. Perez at TUF 28 Finale

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UFC Argentina’s Alexandre Pantoja wants no downtime between fights. Fresh off a first-round submission win over Ulka Sasaki in Buenos Aires, on November 16, the 28-year-old already set his sights on the next challenge.

In an interview for Combate, Pantoja explained he wants to be the replacement fighter for the upcoming flyweight match between Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez, scheduled for the TUF 28 Finale card, just 13 days after Alexandre’s bout in Argentina.

“If the guy he (Benavidez) is fighting can’t compete, they can call me and I’ll fight him. I respect Joseph’s moment and if he takes this fight, I don’t care if I win or lose, I’d just like to fight him. It could be in his backyard, I know he likes to fight in Las Vegas, that’s where he defeated Cejudo. It was a wrong decision, though, I was there and I thought Cejudo won that fight. I would really like to fight at home, I never did, but I’ll fight anywhere in the world, anytime and against anybody.”

A flyweight fighter, Pantoja knows his days in the UFC could be numbered since the division will be dissolved in 2019, however, Alexandre wouldn’t mind moving up to bantamweight if that meant keeping his job in the Octagon and food on the table for his family.

“I chose to go to Florida, but I don’t have enough money to bring my family over to live with me. About the weight classes, I’ll fight anyone at any moment. I walked into my last fight thinking only about the win and nothing else. If the divison really ends and they ask me to go to bantamweight, I’ll have to. When I got here, my weight was around 138, so I’d be really light for the division, but I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for my family. I’ll fight anyone.”

Before defeating Sasaki, Alexandre Pantoja (20-3) defeated Brandon Moreno via unanimous decision back in May. His last loss came in January, when he dropped an unanimous decision to Dustin Ortiz.


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