Alex Perez Moves to UFC 277, Now Fights Alexandre Pantoja

Alex Perez UFC
Alex Perez Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Former UFC flyweight title challenger Alex Perez has a new opponent and date for his next fight.

Originally scheduled to face Askar Askarov on July 16, Perez (24-6) will instead compete on July 30’s UFC 277 card, facing Alexandre Pantoja (24-5). Ag.Fight first reported the news, with Perez confirming the booking on social media.

The Askarov match-up appears to be another cursed one for Perez. They were originally scheduled to face one another last July, only for the Russian fighter to withdraw due to injury. Perez was then pulled from the card and moved to a fight with Matt Schnell in August, which also fell through. They were rebooked weeks later, only for Schnell to withdraw due to a medical issue, while a third attempt at booking the fight tanked when Perez missed weight and Schnell refused the fight.

That brought Perez back to the Askarov match-up, but the end result is that he hasn’t fought since his November 2020 title challenge against Deiveson Figueiredo.

Prior to that loss, Perez had won three straight in the UFC’s flyweight division.

Pantoja for his part fought twice in 2021, winning fights against contenders Manel Kape and Brandon Royval.

UFC 277 takes place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on July 30, 2022. The card is headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight, which sees Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes run it back. The following match-ups have been reported for the card thus far:

  • Julianna Peña (c) vs. Amanda Nunes – for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship
  • Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France – for the vacant UFC interim flyweight championship
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich
  • Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev
  • Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Ľudovít Klein
  • Drew Dober vs. Rafael Alves
  • Ramiz Brahimaj vs. Michael Morales
  • Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria
  • Justin Tafa vs. Don’Tale Mayes
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Ji Yeon Kim vs. Mariya Agapova
  • Orion Cosce vs Mike Mathetha
  • Alexandre Pantoja vs. Alex Perez