Alexandre Pantoja reveals date and location for next title defense

UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja may have let the cat out of the bag on his second title defense.

While appearing at an event featuring the Brazilian soccer team Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, Pantoja revealed his plans to striker Gabriel Barbosa.

“I’ll be defending the belt in Rio, on May 4,” he said.

The UFC flyweight champ didn’t reveal his opponent. With ex-champ Brandon Moreno rematching Brandon Royval at UFC Mexico city next month, and Manel Kape currently benched after badly missing weight for a bout against Matheus Nicolau at UFC Vegas 84, immediate options for the next title challenger aren’t apparent.

Pantoja successfully defended his title for the first time this past December at UFC 296, outpointing Royval in the co-headliner. It was Pantoja’s fifth straight win and followed a rematch victory over Brandon Moreno to capture the flyweight title at UFC 290.

Pantoja previously told The MMA Hour that he wanted to fight in Brazil and welcomed another fight with Moreno, or the ex-champ’s previously scheduled opponent, Amir Albazi.

“Everyone talks a lot about how good Moreno is right now, and I want to see that,” he said. “I want to see how good Moreno is now, and if he wants, we can make the fourth fight with me.

MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz contributed to this report.

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