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.