UFC 289: Steve Erceg Credits Brock Lesnar, Jose Aldo Among MMA Influences

Vancouver, Canada — Australia’s Steve Erceg has admitted he didn’t know who #10 ranked flyweight David Dvorak was prior to booking a fight with him at Saturday’s UFC 289.

He no doubt knows now. And it’s not that Erceg (10-1), a former Eternal MMA flyweight champ, doesn’t pay attention to the division or the sport.

“I know who the champion is, that’s Brandon Moreno. I know Nicolas— forgot his name,” said Erceg, immediately providing evidence that maybe he doesn’t watch the division. Erceg then caught himself. “Matheus Nicolau. I know like some of the better guys, I’d seen Dvorak fight, I just didn’t realize who it was, I didn’t recognize his name off the bat. But I watch pretty closely, some of the top guys.”

Erceg picked up a unanimous decision on Saturday in Vancouver, in a fight that took him to the other side of the planet. Despite the travel, it was a welcome debut for “AstroBoy,” who had a bout last month against Clayton Carpenter fall through.

While some fighters avoid MMA outside of their own fight prep, Erceg is actually a self-proclaimed “fight nerd,” albeit one bad with names.

“I watch it every week. I’m like a nerd when it comes to that sort of stuff. I’m studying tape, all that sort of thing. I’m definitely watching it, but I’m pretty bad with names as it is. I can barely remember my dad’s name.”

Erceg, a pro since 2016, went on to list some of the fighters that originally drew him to the sport, and influenced him as he was starting out.

“The first one that comes to mind was Brock Lesnar. I watched WWE at the time, and he came in, there was all this hype around him coming in. So he was number one,” Erceg told Cageside Press. “Jose Aldo, Georges St-Pierre, Matt Hughes. That was some of my big influences for sure.”

Watch the full UFC 289 post-fight media appearance by Steve Erceg above.