There aren’t many fresh faces on the UFC 289 card, but Australia’s Steve Erceg made the trip across the world to make his promotional debut. “AstroBoy” is paired up with David Dvorak in a flyweight prelim at the event in Vancouver.
Steve “AstroBoy” Erceg
Standing at five-foot-nine
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
Fighting out of Perth, Western Australia
Training out of Wilkes MMA
A pro record of 9-1
1 KO/TKO, 6 Submissions
How will Erceg fare in the UFC:
Ecreg is coming to the UFC as the #1 flyweight prospect from Australia. He was the former Eternal flyweight champion with a few title defenses under his belt. He was supposed to fight on the Contender Series last season but couldn’t because of VISA issues. Ecreg fought one more time after that and then was signed straight to the UFC. Some say his best win is over fellow UFC fighter Shannon Ross. Instead, his wins over Cody Haddon and Choi Seung Guk are much better.
Erceg is going to be hard to handle with his wrestling. His wrestling and grappling I feel are some of the best in the division. His best ability is the prowess of his chain wrestling. Erceg is so good at adjusting mid-takedown to get a better position. He cuts the corner so well that he’s going to be a pest in close. Complimenting an awesome wrestling attack is his jiu-jitsu. Not on the same level as his wrestling but his ground game is substantial. He’s a big submission threat and that plays off his ability so scramble so well. Erceg is methodical on top usually in full control when he gets top position. He’s got a smooth back take but can attack the neck in all different ways.
If Erceg isn’t able to get takedowns he’s going to have problems with a lot of fighters in the UFC. Not to say he’s bad on the feet but he doesn’t match what a 125er should have. Erceg isn’t as fast, doesn’t move as well, and his head movement lacks. I do like his hands as he has some deceptive power. He closes the distance fairly well when he lunges in. I wouldn’t call him one-dimensional but he’s just nowhere near as good on the feet.
I like Erceg a lot and I believe he will be a fixture in the UFC for years to come. I don’t see him as a ranked fighter especially when they are starting to sign more flyweights. I think he will be right outside the top 15 mainly but that’s pretty good in the division.
How he matches up with Dvorak:
Dvorak has lost his last two but those were to Manel Kape and Matheus Nicolau. Dvorak isn’t the best defensively on the feet but his takedown defense is solid. In five UFC fights he’s only been taken down three of seventeen attempts. Those three takedowns came in one fight and a fight he won at that. Dvorak does get questions about his chin but his offensive striking is good. It’s on a much higher level than where Erceg is. I’m not counting Erceg out but I do this this is a tough stylistic match-up for him.