Perth based UFC flyweight Stephen Erceg has won his fight against Alessandro Costa in the feature prelim of UFC 295 in Madison Square Garden in New York.
Erceg utalised his range in the first round, picking Costa apart with strikes. Costa found success by launching into range, landing some shots on Erceg. Erceg dropped Costa at the end of the round, securing top mount and attacking a rear naked. Costa found success with his striking in the second round, landing some heavy shots on the Australian, dropping Erceg as the round concluded. In the third, Erceg pushed Costa against the cage, pressuring his opponent and taking him down multiple times against the cage.
Erceg entered this fight on a nine-fight winning streak, his last victory being in his UFC debut earlier this year, where he beat number 10 ranked David Dvorak on eight days’ notice in Canada at UFC 289. Erceg was originally set to face number nine ranked flyweight Matt Schnell, however, Schnell pulled out of the bout, forcing the unranked Costa to step in to fight.
Erceg fights out of Wilkes MMA in Perth, where he also serves as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach.
Erceg entered this bout rank 14 in the world, with his performance expected to break him into the top 10, and a possible rebooking against Schnell.
At his post-fight press conference, Erceg was critical of his performance in the cage, and said he got caught up in the moment rather than sticking to the game plan.
“I tried to make it a man battle instead of thinking battle, that was my mistake…[I need to]Stick to a technical gameplan, definitely got to work on my footwork even more than I have.” Erceg said.
Erecg said he is looking for a top 15 opponent for his next fight, but does not have a specific opponent in mind.
“I think I should be in the top 15 fighting top 15 opponents…I don’t have any names at this stage.”
“I’m here to beat the toughest guys.”
Erceg ended his post-fight press conference with a message to his supports at home in Perth.
“I appreciate all the support I felt all the love…next time I’ll give you something more.”
Story by Joel Rasmussen.