Alexandre Pantoja

The Cannibal


Another win, title shot next?
August 21, 2021
Pantoja defeated Brandon Royval via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:46 of Round 2 at UFC on ESPN 29 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Pantoja has been one of the most underrated fighters in the sport for years, and this performance may be the one that finally gets him a shot at UFC gold. Pantoja and Royval both had their moments in a tight Round 1, but the Brazilian fired off a couple shots early in the second frame before taking Royval's back. He immediately got a hook in and clamped the rear-naked choke on an overwhelmed Royval. The fight was overly shortly thereafter. Pantoja (politely) campaigned for his shot at UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno in his post-fight interview, and it's going to be difficult to deny him the opportunity given his recent success combined with the fact Pantoja defeated Moreno via unanimous decision when the two first met back in 2018. Adding to the successful night, Pantoja will also take home a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
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Returning in August
May 11, 2021
Pantoja (hand) will take on Brandon Royval (shoulder) in a flyweight matchup at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 21, Farah Hannoun of reports.
Pantoja received a 180-day medical suspension in early February after he injured both of his hands when he defeated Manel Kape via unanimous decision Feb. 6. Royval will also be returning from an injury, as he was suspended six months by the Nevada Athletic Commission in November due to a right shoulder issue. Royval sustained the injury when he lost to Brandon Moreno via TKO (injury) at UFC 255 on Nov. 21. Royval has slight advantages in both height and reach.
Tending to hand injury
February 9, 2021
The UFC handed Pantoja a 180-day medical suspension Monday after he injured both of his hands in his unanimous-decision victory over Manel Kape on Saturday in the promotion's event in Las Vegas, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
Pantoja will be sent in for X-rays on both of his hands and must receive full medical clearance from a doctor to compete again within the next six months. The hand injuries were a small price for Pantoja to pay to get back in the win column after he had lost two of his previous three UFC bouts.
Spoils debut of Manel Kape
February 6, 2021
Pantoja defeated Manel Kape via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Full marks to Pantoja for an excellent rebound performance on the heels of his unanimous decision setback to Askar Askarov last July. Facing a big-time prospect with a lot of hype behind him, Pantoja wore Kape down with volume. He fired off plenty of leg kicks and did a stellar job of limiting the openings for his aggressive opponent. Pantoja and Kape appeared even in terms of natural ability, but the Brazilian appeared calm and composed inside the Octagon, while Kape looked like he was second guessing himself in his company debut. Pantoja is firmly on the fringes of the title discussion despite alternating wins and losses in his past five bouts dating back to April 2019. Pantoja is still just 30 years of age.
Fighting Kape in February
December 26, 2020
Pantoja will fight Manel Kape in a flyweight matchup on Feb. 6, Alexander K. Lee of reports.
The two were set to fight in December before Pantoja withdrew due to undisclosed reasons. It appears he's returned to health and will fulfill his end of the deal now. Pantoja will look to get back in the win column after falling to Askar Askarov his last time out.
Withdraws from Dec. 19 fight
December 3, 2020
Pantoja withdrew from his upcoming matchup against Manel Kape for an undisclosed reason, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
Pantoja was attempting to return to the win column against Kape, but he'll no longer fight for an undisclosed reason. It's not yet known whether the promotion will find a new opponent for Kape, and it's unclear when Pantoja could return to the Octagon.