Alexandre Pantoja says that he is the backup for the title fight, in case either Figueiredo or Benavidez cannot make it to the Octagon on July 18.
“They fought before and the division was stuck because of (Figueiredo’s) weight,” Pantoja said to MMA Fighting. “And it wouldn’t make any sense for me to fight anyone else unless I was the backup fighter in this fight in case the same thing happened again. The division can’t stop.”
Pantoja, who faces Askar Askarov at UFC Fight Night: Figuriredo vs. Benavidez II, won’t be shocked if he leaves Fight Island with UFC gold.
“If this fight gets canceled, it won’t be surprising if I come back from this island with the belt because I’m ready for this,” Pantoja said. “I wake up every day and go to the gym feeling like I’m the champion now. That’s how I live. I feel super ready. You know how hard I’ve worked to get to this moment.”
UFC Fight Night: Figuriredo vs. Benavidez II takes place on Saturday, July 18 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on ESPN.