Frevola is a fellow hitter, one that will be bolstered by the partisan crowd in New York and the even more raucous “Steamrolla” section that is sure to be in full throat.
But Saint Denis has been faced with challenging tasks away from home plenty of times in the past, and doesn’t seem to be someone who is bothered by where he’s fighting. Thus far, who he’s fighting doesn’t seem to be much of an issue either.
If that pattern continues this weekend, France’s “God of War” will find himself in the Top 15 in the lightweight division, riding a five-fight winning streak into 2024.
The Australian flyweight was originally scheduled to make his first walk to the Octagon in mid-May against Clayton Carpenter, but visa issues prevented him from making the trip to Las Vegas, resulting in the fight being scrapped.
Not long after, David Dvorak’s original dance partner for UFC 289, Matt Schnell, was forced to withdraw. Erceg was selected to replace him and took full advantage of the upgraded opportunity, venturing to Vancouver and collecting a unanimous decision win over the ranked fighter from the Czech Republic, earning a Performance of the Night bonus and a ninth straight victory along the way.
Now, “Astroboy” returns for his sophomore appearance, facing off with Brazilian Alessandro Costa on the UFC 295 prelims.
UFC 295 order: Walk vs. Pereira
While his resume is highlighted by submission finishes, and grappling is his greatest strength, Erceg showed in the summer that he’s a well-rounded fighter and already at the level where he can compete with Top 15 talent in the 125-pound class. He was crisp on the feet against Dvorak and won that fight more handily than the two 29-28 scores may lead one to believe, which is saying something because most people don’t walk into their UFC debuts and take out a ranked fighter, but he did it with aplomb.